Apple pushes back South Korean app store payments law

Apple has reportedly told South Korean lawmakers that it is already complying with a law that requires it to accept alternative payment methods in the App Store, creating a new antitrust conflict in the country.

The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) is responsible for enforcing the new App Store Payments Law. While Google says it plans to fully comply with the law, including the adoption of third-party payment systems, Apple appears to be resisting it, saying there is nothing to change.

The report of Reuters Friday morning quotes an official within the KCC, saying that Apple’s claim “defeats the purpose of the amended law.” The official requested anonymity, as Apple is apparently still in discussions with the KCC about compliance.

If the talks fail, the KCC will likely launch a new antitrust investigation against Apple. The most common recourse of the group is the imposition of fines on companies that violate laws and regulations.

An antitrust lawyer in South Korea sees a hard road for Apple to go if it does not comply with the spirit of the law, although the company believes it is adhering to the letter of the law.

“The differences between Apple and Google in the willingness to give ground may be due to the fact that Apple controls everything from the hardware to the operating system (OS), including the application market and the payment system,” he said said antitrust lawyer Jung Jong-chae. Reuters. “[Apple] has more to lose if its dominance breaks on any front, which could lead to calls for openness on other fronts. “

The law, which has been dubbed the “anti-Google law” by local media, prohibits Apple and Google from forcing developers to use proprietary payment systems for in-app purchases. Additionally, the amendment to existing laws prohibits app store rules that impose exclusivity on one app store or another.

The new Korean law represents the first successful effort by a major government to force app store owners to allow alternative payments. While the Korean action is not expected to have a significant impact on either company’s bottom lines, remarkably similar laws are under consideration in the United States and other countries, which could have a greater financial impact when all of them are taken into account.

Apple has previously argued that the legislation endangers the safety and security of App Store customers.

“The Telecommunications Business Bill will put users who buy digital goods from other sources at risk of fraud, undermine their privacy, make it difficult to manage their purchases, and features like “Asking to buy” and parental controls will become less effective, ”Apple said after the bill was submitted to the South Korean parliament in September.

Read on AppleInsider

About Matthew R. Dailey

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