Apple, Google Asked to Offer Improved Compliance Plans on App Store Law by South Korean Regulator

Before finalizing guidelines for a law prohibiting app store operators from pressuring software developers to use their payment systems, South Korea’s telecoms regulator wants improved compliance plans from Apple and Alphabet’s Google, officials said on Thursday.

Last year, South Korea passed the law, which is an amendment to the Telecommunication Business Act. The enforcement ordinance, which is set to be finalized by March 15, will define what constitutes compliance with the statute.

Although the ordinance has not been finalised, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) believes that a compliance plan Apple submitted “still lacks concrete detail”, a KCC official told Reuters.

According to the official, the KCC has been in communication with Apple personnel in order to develop a more thorough compliance strategy that goes beyond the overall objective of enabling other payment systems.

As for Google’s plan, the official said the KCC was aware of concern over Google’s planned policy of only reducing its service charge to developers by 4 percentage points when users choose an alternative billing system, and the regulator is waiting for additional information from Google.

“Any policy that makes it realistically difficult for app developers to use an alternative payment system and forces them to use the payment system of the dominant app store operator would not serve the law’s purpose,” the official said, adding that this stance would likely be reflected in the final ordinance.

The official, who was not authorized to speak to the media, asked to remain anonymous. Apple and Google did not respond immediately.

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