S. Korea plans to impose fines to rein in dominant app store operators

Image Source: Reuters

The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) said on Wednesday that it plans to impose a penalty of up to 2% of Korean app market revenue on dominant app store operators like Apple and Google if they force app developers to use only their payment systems. 

In late August, South Korea’s parliament passed a bill which bars tech companies operating app stores in the country including Apple and Google from requiring developers to use their own payment systems that charge them up to 30%.

The KCC also said that dominant app market operators will be fined up to 1% of Korean app store revenue for undue delays in reviewing apps or deleting an app from the app store.

The detailed draft regulation, set out on Wednesday, is expected to take effect by March after consultations.

Earlier this month, Google announced that it plans to comply with the new South Korean law by allowing third party payment options in the country. However, a lawmaker who spearheaded the amendment told Reuters recently that Apple and Google are not doing enough to comply with the law.  

KCC said that if app developers experience disadvantages such as technical restrictions or  procedural difficulties when using other payment methods, which leaves them no choice but to use a particular payment method, it will be considered as forcing them.

The new rules also impose a mandatory fee when dominant app store operators fail to provide the information requested by the regulator.

A KCC official said fines of up to 2% of revenue are within the scope of fines allowed by the amended Act.

Written by Maya Robertson

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