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
33 months 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
33 months 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
33 months 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
33 months 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
33 months 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
33 months 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)

Popular Stories

iOS 17

iOS 17.5 Bug May Also Resurface Deleted Photos on Wiped, Sold Devices [Updated]

Friday May 17, 2024 12:24 pm PDT by
A bug in iOS 17.5 is apparently causing photos that have been deleted to reappear, and the issue seems to impact even iPhones and iPads that have been erased and sold off to other people. A Reddit user wiped an iPad following Apple's guidelines in September of 2023 before selling it off to a friend. That friend updated the iPad to iPadOS 17.5 this week, and began seeing the Reddit user's old ...
iphone se 4 modified flag edges

When to Expect the Next iPhone SE to Launch

Friday May 17, 2024 2:03 pm PDT by
It has been over two years since Apple released the third-generation iPhone SE, and rumors continue to surface about a new model. The latest word comes from The Information, which today reported that Apple plans to release a new iPhone SE with a design similar to the standard iPhone 14 in the spring of 2025. If this rumor is accurate, the iPhone SE would finally gain Face ID and a notch...
oled m4 ipad pro grainy display reports

OLED iPad Pro Users Report 'Grainy' Displays, But It May Not Be a Defect

Friday May 17, 2024 5:57 am PDT by
Some new M4 iPad Pro models are exhibiting a visible static grain pattern across the OLED display, according to several user reports on Reddit (1, 2, 3) and the MacRumors Forums. Image credit: MacRumors user bk215 Users who see the grain generally report that it is most noticeable in dark environments with the display set at a low to medium brightness while viewing content with gray or muted...
iOS 17

Troubling iOS 17.5 Bug Reportedly Resurfacing Old Deleted Photos

Wednesday May 15, 2024 5:29 am PDT by
There are concerning reports on Reddit that Apple's latest iOS 17.5 update has introduced a bug that causes old photos that were deleted – in some cases years ago – to reappear in users' photo libraries. After updating their iPhone, one user said they were shocked to find old NSFW photos that they deleted in 2021 suddenly showing up in photos marked as recently uploaded to iCloud. Other...
Delta Hands On Feature

iPhone Emulators on the App Store: Game Boy, N64, PS1, PSP, and More

Thursday May 16, 2024 12:45 pm PDT by
In April, Apple updated its guidelines to allow retro game emulators on the App Store, and several popular emulators have already been released. The emulators released so far allow iPhone users to play games released for older consoles from Nintendo, Sony, SEGA, Atari, and others. A list of some popular emulators available on the App Store so far follows. Released Delta Delta is...
iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Perspective

iPhone 16 Lineup Rumored to Come in These Two New Colors

Sunday May 19, 2024 11:08 am PDT by
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today outlined his expectations for the iPhone 16 lineup's color options, revealing that two new colors should replace two of the existing shades. Kuo outlined his expectations in a post on X (formerly Twitter) earlier today. He believes that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will be available in black, white or silver, gray or "Natural Titanium," and rose....