Apple gives up the app payment monopoly in South Korea

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Apple is now following a new law in South Korea: The group wants to allow alternative payment methods in apps in the future, as the responsible regulatory authority Korea Communications Commission (KCC) announced on Tuesday.

It is an absolute novelty in the App Store, in-app purchases were previously only allowed to be settled via Apple’s in-app purchase interface (IAP). The group can automatically withhold a commission for all sales generated in apps with digital content – a billion dollar business.

Apple has already submitted a compliance plan, the KCC explained. Apple wants to continue to insist on a commission for digital purchases, even if the in-app purchases are made via external payment service providers. Google’s strategy for the South Korean market is already similar: the Android manufacturer promised a four percentage point lower commission when using alternative payment methods – in practice, a switch should only pay off for a few developers.

Technical details of the implementation as well as information on the amount of the commission and the time frame are not yet known.

The new law, which prohibits providers of large app stores from forcing the integration of an in-house in-app payment interface, has been in force since last September. Apple initially argued that the existing system was already fulfilling all requirements, and the regulators obviously did not want to agree with this interpretation. Apple said they had “great respect” for the South Korean laws and wanted to work with the authorities and local developers on a solution in a statement to the Korea Herald With.

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Attempts to break Apple (and Google’s) payment monopoly in the respective app stores with lawsuits have so far failed in the USA. Regulatory authorities are the strict requirements for in-app purchases in various countries, however, a clear thorn in the side, for example, the Netherlands recently wanted to force an opening at least for dating apps. Apple has appealed.

Apple has so far vehemently resisted such a forced change, it threatens the app store business model and ultimately harms customers, developers and Apple itself, because, for example, “new rip-offs” could lead to a loss of trust, the company argues. At the same time, Apple has already emphasized several times that it has a “right of ownership” to in-app sales, which it can also assert in other ways if necessary.


(lbe)

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