Korean authorities tell Google it can’t remove apps linked to external payments

Google will violate South Korean law if it goes ahead with its plan to remove apps linked to external payment methods, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) said in a new statement. legal advice. Last year, the country passed a law requiring major app stores to accept alternative payment methods, and Google immediately agreed to comply: this allowed developers to offer an integrated billing system alternative to coexist with his. The tech giant still receives a discount for payments made through this alternative billing system, and it’s only 4% less than the commission the company receives for payments made through its own system.

If the typical service fee for a purchase is 15%, Google collects 11% instead. For ebooks, he gets a commission of 6% instead of 10. The Korean developers weren’t happy, and as The register and The Wall Street Journal report, they responded by connecting to third-party payment systems to avoid paying Google’s fees. The tech giant had previously blocked them from updating their apps and warned them that their apps would be removed from the Play Store if they continued to offer external links by June 1.

An association of developers in Korea has taken the situation to KCC, asking the commission to clarify whether Google’s actions are in accordance with the law. You see, the new law is worded quite vaguely and does not explicitly state whether outlinking is legal or not. Based on the commission’s legal advice, the KCC considers that external links to external payment systems are perfectly acceptable and that Google is breaking the law by limiting updates and removing apps that offer them.

The KCC may perform preliminary status inspections to identify specific violations if Google removes apps linked to external payment methods as planned. If he finds out that the company really broke the law, he can fine Google up to 2% of its app store revenue in the country. A company spokesperson said The newspaper that Google is reviewing the guidance and will work with local app developers to expand user choice.

Google recently launched a pilot program that allows participating developers like Spotify to offer their own payment method. However, they must offer their own in-app payment systems alongside those of Google Play. As for Apple, it recently began allowing “player” apps such as Netflix and Spotify to connect to their own websites for payment as part of a settlement with the Japan Fair Trade Commission.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Comments are closed.