Brussels (Brussels Morning) South Korean MPs are expected to pass an amendment to the Telecommunications Business Act later on Tuesday, which will prevent US tech giants Google and Apple from forcing software companies to route payments through their systems.
The move would effectively prevent Google and Apple from charging commissions on in-app purchases and present the first such restraints against the tech companies by a large economy, according to Reuters reporting on Tuesday.
The amendment has been described as the “Anti-Google Law” and targets app store operators who have dominant positions in the market.
If the parliament’s Legislation and Judiciary Committee approves the amendment later today, the final vote on the proposal will take place on Wednesday. South Korean MPs have been pushing for changes to regulations on the commission structure since mid-2020.
Google and Apple have come under fire globally for requiring software developers who use their app stores to route payments through in-app systems that take commissions on in-app purchases of up to 30%.
Kwon Se-hwa, head of the Korea Internet Corporations Association, a non-profit organisation that represents Korean IT companies, noted that “if the new bill becomes the law, developers will have options to use other independent payment systems.”
“For gaming apps, Google has been forcing app developers to use its own payment system … and it wants to expand its policy to other apps like music,” he warned.
EU, US on similar track
Last year, the EU took aim at app store commissions and proposed the Digital Markets Act, focusing on large companies, with some MEPs proposing changes to target US tech giants specifically.
Three US senators proposed a bill earlier this month to rein in tech companies seen as exerting too much market control, including Google and Apple.
In response to criticism, Google announced earlier this year that it would lower the app store commission to 15% on the first US$ 1 million in revenue each year, with Apple announcing similar plans.