South Korea threatens to fine Apple over App Store dominance

Posted:
in iOS

Both Apple and Google have been told by a South Korean regulator that they may face fines for forcing App Store developers to use their payment systems.

Flag of South Korea
Flag of South Korea



In 2021, the South Korean government voted to require Apple and Google to allow alternative payment systems. According to Reuters, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) has now issued a notice to each company, saying that they are abusing their dominant position in the app market.

Specifically, the KCC said in an Examiner's Report that two were still forcing app developers into specific payment systems, and also causing unfair delays in app review. According to a KCC statement seen by Reuters, the regulator has told Apple and Google to take action to correct this, while it considers whether to fine them.

"What KCC has shared today is the pre-notice' and we will carefully review and submit our response. Once the final written decision is shared with us we will carefully review to evaluate the next course of action," Google said in a statement to Reuters.

"We disagree with the conclusions made by the KCC in their Examiner's Report, and believe the changes we have implemented to the App Store comply with the Telecommunications Business Act," said Apple in a statement. "As we have always done, we will continue to engage with the KCC to share our views."

"What KCC has shared today is the pre-notice' and we will carefully review and submit our response," said Google in a separate statement. "Once the final written decision is shared with us we will carefully review to evaluate the next course of action."

It's not clear that any specific deadline has been set for the two companies to respond to the KCC. However, should the regulator decide that any response is inadequate, it will fine the two companies.

Apple's fine could be up to 20.5 billion won ($15 million). Google's could be up to 47.5 billion won ($35 million). The regulator has not detailed how it has calculated these fines.

It's becoming more common for countries to impose fines on Big Tech firms, and those fines are increasing. In 2011, South Korea fined Apple for alleged illegal tracking of users, but the fine was under $3,000.

But then ten years later in 2021, South Korea fined Google $177 million for reportedly abusing its smartphone dominance.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 759member
    Gotta protect Samsung, baby. 
    magman1979beowulfschmidtravnorodomwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,299member
    Ah yes, the servants of Scamsung don't want anyone to interfere with their plans, shocking... /s
    ravnorodomwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 11
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 2,007member
    For those saying this is to protect Samsung.  Samsung phones for the most part use Android and I would assume the Play Store is predominant even on Samsung phones and Google is being accused as well as Apple and their proposed fine is more than twice the Apple one.  So I’m not sure how this is protecting Samsung. 

    This is what happens when bureaucrats have jobs and nothing to do.  They make up things to investigate and fine people for so it makes them look important and justifies their jobs. (Only half said tongue in cheek). 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    I assume the Korean regulators are also requiring all retailers in their country to accept all forms of payment even those the retailer doesn’t currently support. They must be telling them that they have to use any form of payment including credit cards and online payment systems they do not currently support. It is only fair if they make the online app stores do this. 

    Before I forget. All retailers must allow other businesses to come in and setup stores within their space. It doesn’t matter what is store is or what it sells and they don’t have to pay the existing retailer for the space. 

    Have I missed anything?
    williamlondonFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 1,146member
    They need to do a LOT more than fine Apple.  A fine will be treated as the cost of doing business.

    Ban iPhone imports unless Apple allows users to install software from any source of their choosing.  It's time for governments to do their job and shut down Apple's monopoly.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 6 of 11
    darkvader said:
    They need to do a LOT more than fine Apple.  A fine will be treated as the cost of doing business.

    Ban iPhone imports unless Apple allows users to install software from any source of their choosing.  It's time for governments to do their job and shut down Apple's monopoly.
    Like crabs in a pot, pulling down the successful to mire in the muck with you.

    BTW, MacRumors welcomes people who think like you.
    davwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    davidwdavidw Posts: 2,074member
    It seems both Apple and Google should already be or be able to, comply with S. Korea requirement that developers can use their own payment system when their customers are paying for purchases. Now there might be other issues involve here.



    But since both Google and Apple will still be able to collect a commission (even though discounted 4%), assholes like Sweeney and his Coalition for App Fairness will never stop the lawsuits, until developers can sell their software using other companies IP, without having to compensate that IP owner. These lawsuits has never been about developers being able to use their own payment systems but about how developers can avoid paying for the use of others IP, when profiting from that use.


    Funny though, with nearly every suit that they have managed to win (concerning using other payment systems), none of them banned Apple or Google from collecting a commission.  It seems most countries might see forcing developers to use a certain payment system as unfair, but none seen to think it's unfair for Apple or Google to earn a commission. They just going to have to find other ways of collecting it. I sure hope developers that uses their own payment system, enjoy their 4% discount.    





    williamlondonFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 11
    XedXed Posts: 2,668member
    darkvader said:
    They need to do a LOT more than fine Apple.  A fine will be treated as the cost of doing business.

    Ban iPhone imports unless Apple allows users to install software from any source of their choosing.  It's time for governments to do their job and shut down Apple's monopoly.
    That 28% "monopoly" to Android's 71%? 🙄
    https://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share/mobile/south-korea

    Just because Apple monopolized your time doesn't make them a monopoly. You've chosen to have whatever weird negative obsession you have that makes you come to every Apple comment posted and make some asinine comment against Apple.
    edited October 2023 williamlondonFileMakerFellerdavwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    Are you telling me that the iPhone is outselling Samsung in Korea? That's the only way the App Store can be dominating in Korea.

    The only thing Apple's App Store is dominating is Apple's devices and that's not actually illegal.
    williamlondondavwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,580member
    So it turns out that when EU laws are applied to Apple, it's because the corrupt and overreaching EU is targeting US tech to protect its own industry — except it doesn't have homegrown alternatives. 

    And when Korean laws are applied to Apple it's because the corrupt South Korean government is targeting US tech to protect its own industry — Samsung. 

    The common denominator, weirdly, is Apple's (and Google's) behaviour. 

    Hmm. 
    williamlondonavon b7muthuk_vanalingamFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 11 of 11
    darkvader said:
    They need to do a LOT more than fine Apple.  A fine will be treated as the cost of doing business.

    Ban iPhone imports unless Apple allows users to install software from any source of their choosing.  It's time for governments to do their job and shut down Apple's monopoly.
    [emphasis added]

    I for one will not rest until I can install the software from my car's ECU onto my iPhone. :wink:

    Once again: it is possible to install your own software on your own phone without paying Apple any money. You sign up for the free tier of Apple's Developer program, use the free Xcode IDE to write your app, digitally sign it and install it on your phone. There are restrictions: you have to reinstall the app every seven days and you cannot submit it to the app store to share it with other people. But there is nothing to stop you from sharing the source code and other app resources and allowing others to compile and sign the app themselves.
    muthuk_vanalingamdavwatto_cobra
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