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
10 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
10 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
10 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
10 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
10 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
10 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

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...
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 ...
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...
app store blue banner

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

Tuesday August 24, 2021 10:31 am PDT by
South Korea may soon ban Apple and Google from requiring app developers to use their in-app purchase systems, reports Reuters. 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...
app store blue banner epic 1

Epic Games CEO Renews Attack on Apple and Calls for Single, Universal App Store

Tuesday November 16, 2021 3:31 am PST by
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has today renewed his attack on Apple and called for a single, universal app store that works across all platforms (via Bloomberg). Last year, Epic's popular game "Fortnite" became the subject of heated litigation with Apple and Google over the rate of commission on in-app purchases. After Epic broke App Store rules by implementing a direct payment option, the game ...
Mac App Store General Feature

South Korea Delays Bill That Would Ban Apple From Requiring Developers to Use In-App Purchase System

Monday August 30, 2021 7:07 am PDT by
South Korea has delayed voting on a bill that would ban Apple and Google from requiring developers to use their in-app purchasing systems, a move that would open the door to allowing third-party payment methods, representing a possible significant threat to Apple and Google's app marketplace business models. The bill, coming in the form of an amendment to the existing Telecommunications...
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...
google play alternative billing

Google Play Will Let Developers Use Alternative Billing Systems in South Korea, While Apple Has Yet to Make Changes

Thursday November 4, 2021 8:57 am PDT by
The South Korean government recently passed a law that bans Apple and Google from requiring developers to use their in-app purchase systems in the App Store and Google Play respectively, and Google has now announced changes to comply with the law. In a blog post, Google said it will be giving developers the option to add an alternative in-app billing system alongside the Play Store's billing ...

Popular Stories

Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
General Dropbox Feature

macOS 12.3 Will Include Cloud Storage Changes Affecting Dropbox and OneDrive

Tuesday January 25, 2022 3:31 pm PST by
Dropbox today announced that users who update to macOS 12.3 once that software version becomes available may temporarily encounter issues with opening online-only files in some third-party apps on their Mac. In a support document and an email to customers, Dropbox said it is actively working on full support for online-only files on macOS 12.3 and will begin rolling out an updated version of...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
Apple Watch Red Yellow Green Feature 1

Apple Launches Black Unity Braided Solo Loop With 'Unity Lights' Watch Face

Wednesday January 26, 2022 6:05 am PST by
Apple today announced the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop for the Apple Watch, as well as a new downloadable watch face, to celebrate Black History Month. Following the launch of the limited edition Black Unity Apple Watch Series 6 and Sport Band in 2021, Apple today launched the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop as part of its celebrations for Black History Month this year.Apple is launching a...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
intel vs m1 max chip purple

Benchmarks Confirm Intel's Latest Core i9 Chip Outperforms Apple's M1 Max With Several Caveats

Wednesday January 26, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Benchmark results have started to surface for MSI's new GE76 Raider, one of the first laptops to be powered by Intel's new 12th-generation Core i9 processor. Intel previously said that its new high-end Core i9 processor is faster than Apple's M1 Max chip in the 16-inch MacBook Pro and, as noted by Macworld, early Geekbench 5 results do appear to confirm this claim, but there are several...
ios 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 With Fix for Safari Bug That Leaks Browsing Activity

Wednesday January 26, 2022 10:00 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3, the third major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.3 come almost two weeks after the release of iOS and iPadOS 15.2.1, minor bug fix updates. The iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in ...