In-app purchases: Apple and Google want to continue earning money – regulators annoyed


South Korean regulators are dissatisfied with Apple and Google: According to a new law, both companies must allow alternative payment methods in apps and can no longer oblige app providers and developers to use their own in-app purchase interface.

The fulfillment plans of the two major smartphone platform operators still need to be improved, according to the regulator Korea Communications Commission (KCC), like the news outlet Reuters reported on Thursday.

Apple’s compliance plan presented so far “still lacks concrete details”, becomes an unnamed official of the regulator of Reuters quoted. KCC is still in contact with the group. Apple must submit a concrete implementation instead of just promising a rough promise to support alternative payment methods.

The authority also criticized Apple’s and Google’s plans to continue charging commissions for in-app purchases – even if the purchases are billed directly via other payment systems. Google has already announced that it only wants to reduce the commission by 4 percentage points in this case. Apple and Google retain up to 30 percent commission for in-app purchases via their own payment interfaces.

If the corporations make it too inconvenient for app developers to integrate an alternative payment system, then that would run counter to the aim of the law, according to the regulator. They want to record this again in the final set of rules – it should be laid down by mid-March. The amended version of the Telecommunications Business Act stipulates that large app stores cannot require developers to use a specific payment interface.

In the Netherlands, a regulatory authority has already imposed a fine of millions on Apple because the group did not meet the requirements for opening its payment interface. Apple had already announced two specific interfaces specifically for dating apps that allow external payment methods – also directly in the app. According to Apple, purchases made in this way should continue to be subject to a commission – in an as yet undisclosed amount.

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