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South Korea Forces Google, Apple to Allow Third-Party In-App Payments

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The law is not expected to cause trade tensions between Seoul and Washington.

Apple and Google control more than 85% of South Koreas app market, lawmakers say.

Credit: Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

South Korea legislators on Tuesday approved the first law in the world that requires app stores to let users pay for in-app purchases through multiple payment systems, a blow to the market dominance of Apple and Google, which opposed the bill.

South Korea's National Assembly passed amendments to the country's Telecommunications Business Act that prevent app marketers like Google and Apple from forcing certain payment methods, unfairly delaying the review of mobile content and unfairly deleting mobile content from the app market.

The app-store revenue is lucrative for the tech giants. Apple takes a cut of up to 30% through in-app purchases; last year, Google indicated that it intends to follow suit by applying a 30% cut to more purchases than it had in the past. The legislation will be a blow to the profit they make in South Korea, where the two control more than 85% of the app market, according to lawmakers.

From The New York Times
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