S.Korea weighs monetary fines to rein in app store operators

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Seoul, Nov 17 (Businesshala) – South Korea said on Wednesday that it plans to fine major app store operators such as Apple Inc. (AAPLO) and Alphabet (GOOGL.O) Google if they allow app developers to Force you to use only your app. payment system.

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The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) said it proposes a monetary penalty of up to 2% of Korea App Market revenue in such cases. Major app market operators will be required to pay a monetary fine of up to 1% of Korea App Store revenue for undue delay in reviewing an app or removing an app from the App Store, the regulator said in a statement.

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The country amended the Telecom Business Act in August to curb the market dominance of large app store operators and stop charging commissions on in-app purchases.

The detailed draft of the rules laid down on Wednesday is expected to be implemented by March after consultations, the KCC said.

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Apple and Google are not doing enough to comply with South Korean law, a lawmaker leading the amendment told Businesshala this month.

KCC said that if app developers are at a disadvantage while using other payment methods, which in turn leaves them with no option but to use a specific payment method, it will be treated as compelling them.

Disadvantages include technical restrictions, making it procedurally difficult, or preventing app developers from setting different payment terms.

The new rules also impose mandatory fees in cases where major app store operators fail to submit information requested by the regulator.

A KCC official said a penalty of up to 2% is the limit of monetary penalty allowed by the amended Act.

Reporting by Joyce Lee Editing by Mr Navratnam

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