South Korean Bill That Could Allow Third-Party Payment Methods on the App Store Gains Support Ahead of Vote

A bill that could require Apple and Google to allow third-party payment methods on their respective app stores in South Korea is gaining support ahead of a vote on the issue.

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The bill proposes an amendment to the existing Telecommunications Business Act, which would bar Apple, Google, and any other company that operates its own app distribution platform, from forcing developers to use a specific payment method. Apple requires that all apps on the App Store use its own payment method for in-app purchases, which gives the company a 30% commission.

That 30% cut and restrictions on developers that prevent them from using third-party payment methods has been a significant point of contention between Apple and other companies. The Coalition for App Fairness, which consists of Epic Games, Spotify, and Match Group, has voiced their support for the bill in South Korea.

As reported by the Yonhap News Agency, the founder of the Coalition for App Fairness and the senior vice president for the Match Group, which operates Tinder, met with officials in the South Korean Democratic Party to express their support for the bill. As per the report:

Mark Buse, Match Group's senior vice president and a founding member of the Coalition for App Fairness, met ruling Democratic Party lawmakers at the National Assembly supporting the bill.

Buse expressed support for the bill, adding that it could spur more action from U.S. lawmakers. Similar movement has so far been made at a state level in the United States in around 15 states, according to Buse.

Apple has pushed back firmly against any measures that would open up its users to third-payment methods. In an interview earlier this year, Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, said that allowing third-payment methods on the ‌App Store‌ would turn the platform into a "flea market," noting that customers usually tend to have a low trust level for such markets.

The bill will first be reviewed by the Legislation and Judiciary Committee before being voted upon in the National Assembly.

Top Rated Comments

chrono1081 Avatar
11 weeks ago

That’s it. All around the world governments are working against Apple. Good!
This actually isn't good. Once you notice the enormous issues fragmentation brings with it you'll be back pedaling in no time.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleTO Avatar
11 weeks ago
Even if Apple is forced to allow 3rd party payment methods, nothing will change. Developers will still be changed a fee by Apple, per user purchase, just separately.

The new rule will be something like: “You may use 3rd party payment methods however they must go through “ThirdPartyPaymentKit””, which Apple can then keep track of purchases and amounts.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
I7guy Avatar
11 weeks ago
Apple should charge by the download, say $10,000 per download. Basically they are forcing apple and google to give developers a free ride on their ecosystem. Maybe instead they should force grocery chains to give away (free) groceries, telco companies to provide unlimited, high speed bandwidth for free, etc.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AdmiralTriggerH Avatar
11 weeks ago
If they are forced to do it, I'll vote with my money and stick to using Apple's payment processor or they don't get my money.
I am not a massive Epic fan due to the way they prey on children and they desires to have the cool stuff to make their money.
I also don't use Spotify because I think they have a poor business model and don't pay artists enough.
I very rarely use in app purchases either, the ones I do use are for video stream subscriptions
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mrbobdobolina Avatar
11 weeks ago
Offering 3rd party payment methods is better than offering 3rd party app stores, IMO. I imagine Apple will update their terms of service to ensure they aren't liable for any 3rd party payment issues. A few people will get burned by some bad actors who steal their CC information, and Apple will blame the 3rd party payments since it's not under control.

I could also see Apple changing their fee model where your developer subscription is based off your app downloads if you allow 3d party payments.

Really, there's lots of things Apple can do to abide by the letter of the law while discouraging developers from doing it.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chrono1081 Avatar
11 weeks ago

That was the most sheepish response I've ever read.

Give me an example of an unreliable 3rd party payment method.
I will! Paypal. Ever have to dispute with them? I have and lost out $500 despite having certified letters from my bank showing that the money was never deposited.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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