Sponsored By

A new bill could stop Apple from prohibiting third-party App Store payments in South Korea

The bill has been approved by the South Korean National Assembly, but Apple claims it will compromise App Store integrity.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

August 31, 2021

2 Min Read

A new bill passed in South Korea could force major players like Apple and Google to allow third-party payments on their respective mobile app stores.

As reported by MacRumors (via The Wall Street Journal), the South Korean National Assembly has used the bill to amend the Telecommunications Business Act to prevent large app-market operators from "forcing a provider of mobile content, etc., to use a specific payment method."

The bill, which will become law once signed by South Korean president Moon Jae-in, would also prohibit operators from delaying app approval or removing software from storefronts without reasonable grounds.

In short, the change means developers plying their trade on app stores in South Korea would be able to avoid certain platform fees by choosing third-party payment systems over those belonging to operators like Apple and Google.

It's a notable move given Apple is currently engaged in a high-profile legal battle with Fortnite maker Epic Games for reprimanding the company after it breached platform rules by doing precisely that.

Any company that fails to comply with the new law could be fined up to 3 percent of their revenue from South Korea. In a statement handed to MacRumors, Apple claims the amended Telecommunications Business Act will enable fraud and ultimately put consumers at risk.

"The Telecommunications Business Act will put users who purchase digital goods from other sources at risk of fraud, undermine their privacy protections, make it difficult to manage their purchases, and features like “Ask to Buy” and Parental Controls will become less effective," said Apple.

"We believe user trust in App Store purchases will decrease as a result of this legislation -- leading to fewer opportunities for the over 482,000 registered developers in Korea who have earned more than KRW8.55 trillion to date with Apple."

The news comes a few days after Apple clarified its intentions to let developers email customers about alternative payment options in the wake of a class-action lawsuit filed by a group of U.S. developers.

That change, however, would simply allow developers to "use communications, such as email, to share information about payment methods outside of their iOS app," and not integrate third-party payment options into apps themselves.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like