South Korea on Tuesday passed a bill that bans Apple and Google from requiring its developers to use their own App Store in-app purchasing systems. The move allows developers to charge users using third-party payment methods.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the bill was originally supposed to be voted on Monday, however other matters facing South Korea’s National Assembly meant the bill was postponed. The bill is an amendment to the existing Telecommunications Business Act. It will become law once signed by President Moon Jae-in, whose party strongly endorsed the legislation.
The bill is designed to ban Apple and Google from exploiting their market position to “force a provider of mobile content, etc., to use a specific payment method.”
Apple and Google’s app stores have faced increased scrutiny in recent months. However, South Korea is the first government to take legislative steps to crack down on app delivery platforms. Legislators, developers, and others have called for more regulation of both companies app distribution services, looking to blunt their potential to engage in anti-competitive behaviors.
Apple in South Korea will no longer be permitted to force developers to use its in-app purchasing system, from which it takes a 15% to 30% commission for all purchases made. As Apple operates its App Stores under one set of rules around the globe, South Korea’s bill, while specific to users in its country, may cause changes worldwide.