Changes, they are a-coming. Apple’s not too pleased with it, and Google might be arguing behind the scenes, but when the legal decisions arrive there’s not much else they can do. That’s the situation in South Korea, where the government ruled that both companies need to allow alternative App Store payments.
Reuters is reporting today that the South Korean government has decided that Apple and Google have until mid-October to provide compliance plans for the new telecommunications rules instituted by the legal body. A regulatory official has confirmed the decision to the publication. At some point in the near future, the Korean Communications Commission is going to draw up an enforcement ordinance that pairs with the Telecommunications Business Act.
As noted in the original report, most of the new law actually went into effect earlier this month.
From today’s report:
Apple and Alphabet’s Google have been asked to turn in by mid-October compliance plans for a new South Korean law that bans major app store operators from forcing software developers to use their payment systems, a regulatory official said on Wednesday.
This all started in August of this year — which signifies a pretty quick turnaround, all things considered. Especially when it’s compared to other government bodies. But, in any event, the changes are coming. The Telecommunications Business Act is meant to primarily focus on digital marketplaces that are owned by companies with dominant market positions. Which is why both Apple and Google are roped into it.
Apple, for its part, argued against the South Korean government’s plans, but it obviously didn’t do any good. Now, Apple must make the proper concessions within its digital storefront if it wants to avoid fines — and whatever other repercussions the government comes up with if Apple doesn’t follow suit.
Before the end of August, Apple actually settled a lawsuit with developers in the United States, which saw the company agreeing to allow developers to put links and buttons to external websites to make purchases. So, now Spotify can link to its website for subscribers, and so on.
And, of course, the judge overseeing the Epic Games vs Apple lawsuit recently ruled that Apple must allow other forms of in-app purchase options. The company hasn’t appealed that decision yet, so it certainly looks, at least right now, that some big changes are coming to the U.S. App Store, too.