Apple Accused of Not Doing Enough to Comply With South Korean App Store Law

Apple is not doing enough to comply with South Korean legislation that forbids app store operators from forcing developers to use their payment systems, according to lawmaker Jo Seoung-lae, Reuters reports.

General App Store South Korea Feature Feature
Via an amendment to the Telecommunication Business Act, South Korea is the first country endeavouring to stop developers from being forced to use a single payment system offered by app store operators. The law came into effect in September, but the exact details of what companies need to do to comply with it had not yet been fully drafted.

This month, Apple reportedly told the South Korean government that it was already complying with the new law and did not need to change its App Store policies. Jo Seoung-lae, the lawmaker who spearheaded the amendment, told Reuters:

Frankly, we are not satisfied... Apple's claim that it's already complying is nonsensical. Excessive fees take away developers' chances for innovation ... parliament is to be closely informed as the government drafts detailed regulations to make sure there is accountability.

It is as yet unclear how platform operators will be sanctioned if the regulations are breached, but according to a draft seen by Reuters, it could involve fines of up to two percent of revenue.

The initial details of what Apple will need to do to meet its new obligations in South Korea are expected to be made public by the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) tomorrow, ahead of them coming into full effect by March 2022.

In an interview at the Global Conference for Mobile Application Ecosystem Fairness in Seoul today, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney renewed his ongoing attack on Apple and called for a single, universal app store.

Elsewhere, Law Street reports that an antitrust lawsuit has been filed against Apple in Northern District of California, accusing the company of charging supracompetitive prices on the ‌App Store‌.

Top Rated Comments

Mockletoy Avatar
26 weeks ago
This reminds me of a time when I was a kid. My mom told me I couldn’t go do whatever I wanted to do until I cleaned my room.

So, I “cleaned” it, told her it was done, and took off.

Turns out, not only was her definition of clean different from mine, but it was also the only one that mattered.

Apple is in much the same situation here, and will end up with the same outcome.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GMShadow Avatar
26 weeks ago
To the folks saying Apple just needs to comply…


The law came into effect in September, but the exact details of what companies need to do to comply with it had not yet been fully drafted.
Maybe South Korea could get their act together and tell Apple exactly what they’re supposed to be doing?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mockletoy Avatar
26 weeks ago

Yes they’re braking as possible.
They will comply with CCP but won’t follow the law passed by South korea’s democracy.. it’s all about money again. They are arm wrestling with countries now
The reactions of Apple’s most faithful devotees never cease to amuse.

Whenever a new story comes out about Apple meekly complying with oppressive laws and censorship requirements in places like China:

“Apple has to comply with local laws! There’s nothing they can do! Stop blaming them!”

Whenever Apple’s profits are on the line in a thriving democracy:

“Fight this stupid law! Disobey! Do whatever it takes! Just stop doing business there, that’ll teach ‘em!”

I find that … fascinating.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
neuropsychguy Avatar
26 weeks ago

Maybe Apple should have thought of that before becoming so greedy that the government literally had to step in and regulate them.
What level of profit would no longer count as greedy? What fee structure would also not count as greedy?

First, what is Apple's gross profit margin on the App Store? Second, what is Apple's net profit margin on the App Store? What profit margin (gross and net) is appropriate? Why is that level appropriate? If Apple has a lower App Store profit margin, is it acceptable to raise margins elsewhere to make up for it? If not, why? What company-wide profit margin (gross and net) is appropriate (i.e., no longer "greedy")?

Should Apple take a different approach to the App Store? Should they offer it as a free public service and receive no compensation? Should they increase developer fees instead of having a 15-30% commission (or no commission for free apps)? Does Apple charging a commission mean Apple is greedy but companies developing apps that want to use Apple's services without paying mean they are not greedy?

Complaints don’t help if you don't also at least provide a possible solution. What is one of your proposed solutions? It doesn't have to be ideal or perfect but I'm interested in what you think is a non-greedy and fair solution for all parties. If you think something is bad or unfair, that's fine but also state what can be done to make it better.

None of what I wrote is a defense of Apple. What I hope is people will stop offering terse "Apple bad" type of responses and instead offer suggestions for improvement.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
neuropsychguy Avatar
26 weeks ago
"Excessive fees take away developers' chances for innovation"

Let's flip this argument around. "Removing [Apple's] fees takes away Apple's chances for innovation". It's somehow better for companies/app developers to freeload with Apple?

Edit: I know there’s a modest developer’s fee but that doesn’t cover all the costs of running the App Store.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Hammerd Avatar
26 weeks ago
Yes they’re braking as possible.
They will comply with CCP but won’t follow the law passed by South korea’s democracy.. it’s all about money again. They are arm wrestling with countries now
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

iOS App Store General Feature Dock 2

Apple Defends App Store Changes in the Netherlands as Fines Reach €30 Million

Monday February 28, 2022 9:32 am PST by
Amid an ongoing dispute with the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) in the Netherlands over the App Store, Apple has defended its plan to require app developers to submit an additional app binary for the Dutch storefront if they wish to use a third-party payment processing method. The ACM has ruled that Apple must allow dating apps in the Netherlands to use third-party payment...
Mac App Store General Feature

Apple and Google Given Mid-October Deadline in South Korea for Filing Plans to Allow Outside Payment Systems in Apps

Wednesday September 29, 2021 7:18 am PDT by
Apple and Google have been asked to provide compliance plans for a newly amended law in South Korea that bars both tech giants from forcing developers to using their in-app purchase payment system for their respective app distribution platforms, Reuters reports. In August, South Korea passed an amendment to an existing law that bans Apple and Google from mandating developers to use their own ...
iOS App Store General Feature Dock

Indie Developer Dogged By Scammy Clone Apps Again Highlights the Holes in Apple's App Store Review Process

Monday February 21, 2022 9:29 am PST by
Apps that copy concepts and features from other apps are nothing new in the ‌App Store‌, but scammy like-for-like clones of genuine apps remain a perennial problem that Apple still hasn't resolved, as indie developer Kevin Archer recently discovered. Archer is responsible for 2Stable's Authenticator App, a feature-rich app that stores and generates secure two-factor authentication tokens...
app store blue banner epic 1

Epic Games CEO to Speak in South Korea Next Week Against the App Store Amid Ongoing Tensions With Apple

Thursday November 11, 2021 1:39 am PST by
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney will appear next week at a conference in South Korea to discuss the fairness of mobile app platforms and ecosystems amid his company's ongoing tension with Apple, according to a press release. Sweeney will be joined by other members and representatives of the "Coalition for App Fairness," a group of developers and companies lobbying against Apple's...
General App Store South Korea Feature Feature

South Korea Passes Bill Banning Apple From Requiring Developers to Use App Store In-App Purchase System

Tuesday August 31, 2021 3:12 am PDT by
South Korea today passed a bill that bans Apple and Google from requiring developers to use their own respective in-app purchasing systems, allowing developers to charge users using third-party payment methods, The Wall Street Journal reports. The bill was originally supposed to be voted on yesterday, however, more urgent matters presented to South Korea's National Assembly meant the bill...
General App Store South Korea Feature Feature

Apple to Allow Alternative Payment Systems in App Store in South Korea

Monday January 10, 2022 8:37 pm PST by
Apple will let App Store developers offer alternative payment systems in South Korea after the country passed a law that bans app store operators from requiring developers to use their own in-app purchase systems, reports The Korea Herald. Apple still plans to charge a reduced fee on purchases made through alternative payment systems, according to plans the company submitted to the Korea...
iOS App Store General Feature Clorange

Apple Fined €5 Million for Ninth Time in the Netherlands Over Third-Party In-App Payment Systems

Tuesday March 22, 2022 5:00 am PDT by
Apple has been hit with its ninth €5 million ($5.5 million) fine in the Netherlands for ostensibly continuing to insufficiently meet new requirements regarding alternative payment systems for dating apps, Reuters reports. The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) said that Apple had sent it "new proposals" on Monday in an attempt to resolve the company's dispute over allowing...
iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue

Developers Now Able to Submit Claims for $250 to $30,000 Payments From Apple in Lawsuit Settlement

Friday January 14, 2022 12:24 pm PST by
Apple in August announced plans to pay $100 million to settle a class-action lawsuit levied by U.S. developers, and as of today, the website that will allow developers to submit a claim for a payout has gone live. The $100 million that Apple provided is being distributed as part of a "Small Developer Assistance Fund," and developers can claim between $250 and $30,000 based on their historic...

Popular Stories

RIP iPod Feature

RIP iPod: A Look Back at Apple's Iconic Music Player Over the Years

Friday May 13, 2022 2:25 pm PDT by
Apple earlier this week announced the discontinuation of the iPod touch, and because it was the last iPod still available for purchase, its sunsetting effectively marks the end of the entire iPod lineup. To send the iPod on its way, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the most notable iPod releases over the last 21 years. Original iPod (2001) Introduced in October...
iOS 16 mock for article

Gurman: iOS 16 to Include New Ways of System Interaction and 'Fresh Apple Apps'

Sunday May 15, 2022 6:14 am PDT by
iOS 16 will include new ways of interacting with the system and some "fresh Apple apps," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has said, offering some more detail on what Apple has in store for the upcoming release of iOS and iPadOS set to be announced in a few weeks at WWDC. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman wrote that while iOS 16 is not likely to introduce a major face-lift to...
maxresdefault

Unbox Therapy Shares Hands-On Look at iPhone 14 Pro Max Replica

Monday May 16, 2022 4:40 am PDT by
YouTuber Unbox Therapy has shared a hands-on look at the iPhone 14 Pro Max using what he claims is a one-to-one replica created by third-party case makers with access to detailed schematics and dimensions for Apple's new upcoming flagship smartphone. As with the iPhone 13 Pro lineup, in 2022, we are expecting a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, but this time the Pro...
iOS 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 With Wallet and Podcast Updates

Monday May 16, 2022 10:00 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5, the fifth major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were initially released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.5 come a little over two months after the launch of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. The iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in...
14 16 inch 2021 mbps back to back feature orange

Five Things You Still Can't Do With a MacBook Pro

Wednesday May 11, 2022 11:16 am PDT by
It's been over 200 days since Apple debuted its redesigned MacBook Pro lineup. Offered in 14-inch and 16-inch display sizes, the new-look MacBooks wowed Apple fans and creative pros alike with their powerful custom Apple silicon, mini-LED screen, and multiple connectivity options. But there are still some things you can't do with a MacBook Pro. Here are five features some Mac users are still...
apple mac ipad watch trade in

Apple Launches Limited-Time Bonus Trade-In Credit for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch in Many Countries

Wednesday May 11, 2022 5:14 am PDT by
Apple has launched a special limited-time offer for iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, and iPad trade-in that offers customers additional credit when trading in their only device for a new one. The offer is being run in several countries including the US, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, India, and France. In the UK, Apple is offering up to £50 of extra trade-in credit...
airpodsprodesign

Kuo: AirPods, MagSafe Battery Pack, and Other Apple Accessories Also to Switch to USB-C in Future

Sunday May 15, 2022 5:59 am PDT by
Earlier this week, well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that Apple plans to release at least one iPhone 15 model with a USB-C port in 2023. Now, in a follow-up tweet, he has claimed that accessories like AirPods, the MagSafe Battery Pack, and the Magic Keyboard/Mouse/Trackpad trio would also switch to USB-C in the "foreseeable future." Both the iPhone and all of the aforementioned...