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South Korea Approves App Store Law Targeting Big Tech Payment Systems

 |  March 8, 2022

South Korea’s government has approved detailed rules for a law banning dominant app store operators, such as Apple and Alphabet’s Google, from forcing software developers to use their payments systems, reported Reuters.

South Korea passed the law, an amendment to the Telecommunication Business Act, last year.

It was the first such curb by a major economy on Apple and Google, which face global criticism for requiring the use of proprietary payment systems that charge commissions of up to 30%.

The rules, called the enforcement ordinance, will be put into effect on March 15. They specify that the law bars “the act of forcing a specific payment method to a provider of mobile content” by unfairly utilising the app market operator’s status, the regulator Korea Communications Commission (KCC) said in a statement.

“In order to prevent indirect regulatory avoidance, prohibited acts’ types and standards have been established as tightly-knit as possible within the scope delegated by the law,” said KCC Chairman Han Sang-hyuk.

Advocates for the Big Tech platforms targeted by these changes have opposed the new legislation, arguing that the changes will negatively impact consumers by reducing the platforms’ ability to ensure publishers’ reliability, opening users up to possible fraud or poor quality products.

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