South Korea Could Ban Apple From Requiring Developers to Use In-App Purchase System

South Korea may soon ban Apple and Google from requiring app developers to use their in-app purchase systems, reports Reuters.

app store blue banner
South Korea's legislation and judiciary committee is expected to approve an "Anti-Google Law" that amends the existing Telecommunications Business Act. It will require Apple and Google to allow third-party payment methods in their app stores in South Korea, and it will let developers use independent payment systems.

If the amendment is approved by the committee, the National Assembly of South Korea will hold a final vote on Wednesday. Support for the bill has been picking up, and earlier this month, officials in South Korea met with the founder of the Coalition for App Fairness and the senior vice president of Match Group, both vocal anti-Apple critics.

In a statement to Reuters, Apple said that the legislation "will put users who purchase digital goods from other sources at risk of fraud, undermine their privacy protections, make it difficult to manage their purchases."

If passed, Apple believes the bill will cause user trust in App Store purchases to fall, which will lead to "fewer opportunities for the over 482,000 registered developers in Korea who have earned more than KRW8.55 trillion to date with Apple."

Apple currently collects 15 to 30 percent commission on in-app purchases made through the ‌App Store‌, and developers are required to use the company's in-app purchase system. Apple's ‌App Store‌ rules and restrictions are at the heart of its legal battle with Epic Games and are the target of similar legislation in the United States and Europe.

An antitrust bill proposed in the United States earlier this month would force Apple and Google to allow third-party app stores and sideloading, while the European Commission last year introduced the Digital Markets Act that would regulate how app stores operate in Europe.

Top Rated Comments

Madmic23 Avatar
11 months ago
I'm just going to put my usual rule here:

* If the content is hosted on Apple servers, like more levels or characters for a game, I'm ok with the app having to use Apple's in-app payment system.
* If the content is hosted on an outside server, like a Kindle book or the Netflix or Spotify content libraries, the option should exist to use third-party payments systems.

Apple doesn't get a cut when I buy a product through the Amazon app, why should they get a cut on virtual items?
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kenny7 Avatar
11 months ago
South Korea would be the first country to require third-party payment methods. FINALLY!!!!!
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MuppetGate Avatar
11 months ago
"Undermine their privacy protections"

We're going with that one are we? Okay then …
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vagos Avatar
11 months ago

I believe a lot of malls & shopping centers charge tenants for a percentage profit, in addition to the rent. Thus if the App Store is an extension of the mall in a virtual sense, what Apple is doing is not out of bounds with in-app purchases. Someone correct me if I'm wrong here.
Don't compare it with malls. It's a computing platform and it should be free as windows and macos are. We don't need apple as the gatekeeper to download our software. We deserve lower prices for software. Apple makes enough money from selling the phones at a premium anyway.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
contacos Avatar
11 months ago
Such bull … ! Guess what Apple, I already made 5 online purchases with my credit card or PayPal today! and I have yet to be victim of fraud after 33 years on this planet. Apple isn’t the holy grail of payments and if their App review process was so great, there wouldn’t be anything to be worried about anyway right?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Darmok N Jalad Avatar
11 months ago
Apple is going to have a much harder time selling privacy and security as the reasoning now. We probably just need a good FAQ to set us straight though.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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