South Korea Amends Telecommunications Business Act, Igniting Apple and Epic’s Feud

The National Assembly of South Korea has voted to pass a law that will force Apple and Google to let developers use alternative payment methods on the iOS and Android app stores. This amendment to the Telecommunications Business Act was passed on September 1st and will become law once signed by President Moon Jae-in.

The new amendment will prevent huge platform-holders like Apple from making developers use their in-built payment systems. It also contains provisions to stop retaliatory measures from platform-holders towards developers who choose to use alternative payment systems. Companies that don’t comply can be fined up to 3% of their South Korean revenue.

Apple issued the following statement in response to the passage of this law: “The proposed Telecommunications Business Act will put users who purchase digital goods from other sources at risk of fraud, undermine their privacy protections, make it difficult to manage their purchases, and features like ‘Ask to Buy’ and Parental Controls will become less effective. We believe user trust in App Store purchases will decrease as a result of this proposal – leading to fewer opportunities for the over 482,000 registered developers in Korea who have earned more than KRW 8.55 trillion to date with Apple.”

While Apple fumes, their rivals at Epic Games appear to be celebrating the new law. Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney on Twitter praised how “Korea has rejected digital commerce monopolies and recognized platforms as a right.” The beef between these two companies doesn’t appear close to being squashed. Epic is suing Apple in multiple countries over anti-competitive practices, and this new law will only add more fuel to the fire.

(All information was provided by PC Gamer)

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