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
2 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
2 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
2 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
2 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
2 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
2 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)

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