After several delays, South Korea's National Assembly voted today to approve the passing of the Anti-Google law. This law will stop Google and Apple from forcing developers into using their in-app billing systems to build apps for their market-leading app stores.
This is the first global intervention by a government to stop Apple and Google from imposing their own payment systems on in-app purchases.
Google and Apple have come under increasing scrutiny for the restrictive aspects of their systems in other markets. Many will now be watching to see if South Korea's move is a turning point that could lead to similar measures in other nations. According to media reports, Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission is currently considering regulations for the digital payments system of Apple and Google.
The South Korean preliminary committee voted Wednesday 25 August for the revision of Telecommunication Business Act. This Act seeks to limit Google and Apple's ability to charge app developers commission on inapp purchases.
South Korean lawmakers have introduced bills that would prohibit global tech companies' dominance of the app payments market.
Google reduced its commission from 30% to 15% for all in-app purchases in March 2021 to appease developers. It announced four months later that its new in-app billing system will be pushed back to March 2022.
Apple proposed in August a settlement to a lawsuit brought against it in the US by software developers. It notes that Apple will allow app developers access to their payment options beyond their iOS app and the App Store. However, it did not go as far as allowing developers alternative payment methods within the app.
Apple stated in its statement that the Telecommunications Business Act would expose users who buy digital goods from other sources to fraud, weaken their privacy protections and make it difficult to manage purchases. Features like Ask to Buy or Parental Controls will also be less effective.
Google couldn't be reached