South Korea weighs fines to curb app store operators, Telecom News, ET Telecom



SEOUL: South Korea on Wednesday announced it plans to fine dominant app store operators such as Apple Inc and Alphabet’s Google if they force app developers to use only their systems of payment.

The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) has said it is proposing a fine of up to 2% of Korean app market revenue in such cases. Dominant operators in the app market will also face a fine of up to 1% of Korean App Store revenue for undue delays in reviewing apps or removing an app from the App Store, he said. the regulator said in a statement.

The country amended the telecommunications law in August to reduce the market dominance of large app store operators and prevent them from charging commissions on in-app purchases.

The detailed draft regulations presented on Wednesday are expected to be implemented by March after consultations, the KCC said.

Apple and Google are not doing enough to comply with South Korean law, a lawmaker behind the amendment told Reuters this month.

The KCC said that if app developers are at a disadvantage when using other payment methods, which leaves them with no choice but to use a specific payment method, it will be seen as obliging them.

The downsides include technical restrictions, which make the process difficult or prevent app developers from setting different payment terms.

The new rules also impose mandatory fees in cases where major app store operators fail to submit information requested by the regulator.

The fine of up to 2% of earnings is within the scope of financial penalties allowed by the amended law, a KCC official said.

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