Google’s app fees are a sore point for app developers and the fee, believed to be 30%, which had been waived in Korea was about to be re-instated. Korean law makers appear ready to pass a law that will enable others to deploy apps to the Apple and Google platforms while also allowing others to collect payments. It is unclear if these regulations address the security issues associated with the common practice of adding malicious software to downloads:
“The Telecommunications Business Act would mandate giving users a free choice of app payment providers. The bill, which is almost certain to pass an assembly vote Monday given the ruling party’s super-majority, opens the door for companies like Fortnite maker Epic Games Inc. to transact directly with users and bypass the platform owner’s charges. Epic has taken the iOS and Android owners to court in various jurisdictions arguing their fees are unfair.
“This could presage similar actions elsewhere,” said Omdia analyst Guillermo Escofet, who specializes in digital consumer platforms. “Regulators, lawmakers and litigators in North America and Europe are also scrutinizing app-store billing rules, and the overriding political mood has become hostile to the enormous amount of power concentrated in the hands of the tech giants.”
Korean lawmakers are making their move ahead of plans by Google to introduce its 30% commission fee in October, reversing a years-long exemption for the country. Its announcement last year it would make its payment system mandatory for non-gaming apps is widely seen as the trigger for the new legislation — dubbed locally the anti-Google law.”
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group