Friday, October 15, 2021

Apple Refuses App Store Changes for South Korea

Mike Wuerthele (also John Gruber):

The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) is in charge of enforcing compliance with the new App Store payment law. While Google says that it plans to comply in full with the law, including the adoption of third-party payment systems, Apple appears to be resisting it, saying that there is nothing that it needs to change.


The law went into effect last month but Apple had told the South Korean government that it was already complying and did not need to change its app store policy, a Korea Communications Commission (KCC) official in charge of the matter told Reuters.

“This goes against the purpose of the amended law,” the official said, requesting anonymity as the KCC was still in talks with Apple on compliance.

This reminds me of Apple “clarifying” the rules in the Cameron v. Apple Settlement, except that here there seems to be even less basis for the position that they’re already complying.


Update (2021-10-19): Geoff Keating:

I suspect what’s going on is the law says something like “must allow a choice of payment providers” and Apple says “we have Visa and PayPal”. The law cannot say “Apple must allow all apps on its platform for free” because that’s expropriation and there are treaties against it.

Update (2021-11-16): Hartley Charlton:

Apple is not doing enough to comply with South Korean legislation that forbids app store operators from forcing developers to use their payment systems, according to lawmaker Jo Seoung-lae, Reuters reports.


It is as yet unclear how platform operators will be sanctioned if the regulations are breached, but according to a draft seen by Reuters, it could involve fines of up to two percent of revenue.

The initial details of what Apple will need to do to meet its new obligations in South Korea are expected to be made public by the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) tomorrow, ahead of them coming into full effect by March 2022.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

Kevin Schumacher

Yeah, this one baffles me. Unless they have some contorted reading of the law that somehow technically doesn't require them to allow third-party payments, this seems like they're just intentionally playing dumb.

Maybe they're trying to bait the KCC into fining them so they can sue? I don't know how it works there, if they have to be punished for noncompliance before they can argue the law is wrong somehow.

Greeders gonna greed. Every day they can delay this is worth a lot of money.

But I think the main reason is that once Korea falls, the rest of the world will follow.

>We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings. 

@Kevin Schumacher Because there are additional geo-politics in the background going on.

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