Tech

Korean authorities informed Google that they cannot remove apps that link to external payments


The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) said in a new announcement legal guide. Last year, the country passed a law that requires the major app stores to accept alternative payment methods, and Google has readily agreed to comply: It allows developers to provide an alternative in-app payment system to survive. with your system. However, the tech giant still takes a cut of the payments made through that alternative payment system, and it’s just 4% less than the commission it charges for payments. The calculation is done through its own system.

If the typical service fee for a purchase is 15 percent, Google collects 11 percent instead. For eBooks, it collects 6% commission instead of 10. Korean developers are not satisfied, and Registration and The Wall Street Journal reported, they responded by linking to a third-party payment system to avoid paying Google fees. The tech giant has blocked them from updating apps and warned that their apps will be removed from the Play Store if they continue to provide external links before June 1.

A developer association in South Korea has brought the situation to KCC, asking the committee to clarify whether Google’s actions comply with the law. See, the new law is rather vague and doesn’t make it clear whether external linking is legal. Based on the committee’s legal guidance, the KCC considers external links to external payment systems perfectly OK and that Google is breaking the law by restricting updates and removing apps that provide them. .

KCC may conduct preliminary status checks to identify specific violations if Google removes apps that link to the planned external payment methods. If it is found that the company has indeed broken the law, it can slap Google with a fine equivalent to 2% of their app store revenue in the country. A company spokesperson told Journal that Google is reviewing the guidance and will work with local app developers to expand user choice.

Google recently launched a test program allows participating developers like Spotify to offer their own payment methods. However, they must provide their own in-app billing system along with Google Play. For Apple, it recently started allow “reading” apps such as Netflix and Spotify to link to their own websites for payments as part of an agreement with the Japan Fair Trade Commission.

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