A South Korean parliamentary committee has voted to recommend amending a law towards banning Google and Apple from forcibly charging software developers commissions on in-app purchases, the first such curb by a major economy.
After the vote from the legislation and judiciary committee to amend the Telecommunications Business Act, named the “Anti-Google law,” the amendment will come to a final vote in parliament.
Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google have both faced global criticism because they require software developers using their app stores to use proprietary payment systems that charge commissions of up to 30%.
In a statement on Tuesday, Apple said the bill “will put users who purchase digital goods from other sources at risk of fraud, undermine their privacy protections”, hurt user trust in App Store purchases and lead to fewer opportunities for South Korean developers.
Wilson White, senior director of public policy at Google, said “the rushed process hasn’t allowed for enough analysis of the negative impact of this legislation on Korean consumers and app developers”. Legal experts say app store operators could work with developers and other companies to create secure payment methods other than the ones they provide.
Based on South Korean parliament records, the amendment bans app store operators with dominant market positions from forcing payment systems on content providers and “inappropriately” delaying the review of, or deleting, mobile contents from app markets.
It also allows the South Korean government to require an app market operator to “prevent damage to users and protect the rights and interests of users”, probe app market operators, and mediate disputes regarding payment, cancellations or refunds in the app market.
This month in the United States, a bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill that would restrain app stores of companies that they said exert too much market control, including Apple and Google.
*culled from Reuters