Google can’t punish developers over payment workarounds

The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) said on Tuesday (April 5) that US tech giant Google cannot stop South Korean app developers from using payment bypasses, meaning the company is losing its edge on digital sales commissions, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Tuesday (April 5).

Google had been pushing for policy changes that would prevent app developers in South Korea from including an in-app link to external websites to purchase digital goods using an “outlinking” payment option that bypasses Google fees.

Those that include external links could be removed from the Google Play Store by June 1, a violation of South Korean law, according to the KCC ruling. The commission also plans to create a new division for local app developers to report violations later this month, according to the report.

“We will work to ensure that the regulation lives up to its intentions to ensure that user choice is guaranteed,” KCC Chairman Han Sang-hyuk said in a statement.

The report notes that last year, South Korea became the first country to pass a bill tackling Google and Apple’s dominance over how apps on their platforms sell subscriptions, apps, and more. game elements and other online content.

Google and Apple are prohibited from forcing apps to use their own in-app payment systems and circumventing commission rates of up to 30%.

Google didn’t immediately comment on the KCC’s decision, but previously said it would still charge fees on in-app payments handled by third-party payment options that were 4 percentage points lower than he would have charged on his own payment system. .

Related: Google’s ‘dual billing option’ adds pressure on Apple

In March, Google and Spotify announced an agreement that will allow users to download Spotify from the Google Play Store and choose to pay with Spotify’s payment system or Google Play Billing. The double billing option will be displayed side by side in the app.

User-choice billing could launch later this year in the US, with the companies also planning a global rollout.

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