South Korea’s National Assembly approved the passage of its “Anti-Google law”. The legislation, dubbed after Google but with a broader scope, will bar Alphabet company and Apple from compelling developers to adopt their in-app billing systems when developing apps for their two market-dominating app stores.
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Apple and Google’s policies usually require developers to pay the tech giants a commission as high as 30% of every transaction.
- It means that developers will be able to avoid paying commissions to Google and Apple by directing users to pay via alternate platforms.
- This is the first time a government has stepped in to stop Google and Apple from imposing their payment rails on in-app purchases
- According to the latest bill, which was adopted this week, by pushing customers to purchase via alternate channels, developers would be able to avoid paying commissions to big app stores operators like Google and Apple.
What is the Anti-Google law?
- South Korean assembly passed an amendment to the country’s Telecommunications Business Act.
- This stops firms like Google and Apple from forcing developers to use their built-in- payment system for selling subscriptions and other digital items through play store and Appstore.
- It also prevents app marketers from unfairly delaying the review of mobile content or deleting such content from their markets.
- Google and Apple charge developers a fee for selling in-app items, like subscriptions, through their app stores. Many developers including billion-dollar startups have approached the government to intervene and stop this practice.
Have Google and Apple tried to solve this issue?
- Both firms had announced small business programs, lowering the fees to 15% for developers, who earn less than $1 million off their stores. Last week, Apple announced a $100 Million small developer assistance fund as part of a settlement agreement in a class-action lawsuit.
- The firm also said it would allow developers to use data obtained from their apps to inform customers about other payment methods. Unlike Apple, Google also allows users to install apps that aren’t on the play store and install other app stores on Android phones.
What do Google and Apple say about the law?
A Google spokesperson said its service fee “helps keep Android free, giving developers the tools and global platform to access billions of consumers around the world”. “We’ll reflect on how to comply with this law while maintaining a model that supports a high-quality operating system and app store, and we will share more in the coming weeks,
Apple spoke person said the law would put users at risk of fraud and “undermine their privacy protection”.
Most importantly, Apple claimed that 482,000, registered developers in South Korea will have “fewer opportunities”.