The South Korean telecom regulator is launching an investigation into Apple, Google, and One Store over alleged violations of its in-app payments law on their app stores, reported Reuters. Why it matters: The KCC investigation is one among many globally questioning the market dominance of large app store operators—who generate billions in revenue from in-app payment policies. Just last week, French iOS developers took Apple to Federal Court for its allegedly anti-competitive App Store policies—the lawsuit also named Google’s Play Store for disadvantaging Android developers. The Korean Communication Commission (KCC), which reportedly began inspecting the stores on May 17th, suspects all three players may have violated provisions of the amended Telecommunications Business Act. While the KCC hasn’t indicated the seriousness of the violations, the regulator is likely to take ‘strict measures’ if they prove to be true. Infractions can invite fines as high as 2% of the ‘average annual revenue from related business practices [in South Korea]’. The in-app payments law—which was passed last August—bans major app stores from forcing developers to use their in-built billing systems. It also bars app stores from ‘unfairly delaying the review of mobile content, or refusing, delaying, restricting, deleting, or blocking the registration, renewal, or inspection of mobile content that uses third-party payment methods.’ This helps developers avoid the 30% sales commission charged by Apple and Google’s payment systems, potentially bringing down the costs of apps for users as well. App stores, on the other hand, may see their revenues hugely dented by laws…
Apple, Google’s App Stores’ Payment Policies Among Those Under Scanner of New Investigation by South Korean Telecom Regulator
The KCC, South Korea’s telecom operator, has taken issue with Apple, Google, One Store over potentially violating the country’s in-app payments law
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