back to article South Korea tables law to remove app stores' in-app purchase monopolies

South Korea will attempt to pass a law that gives app developers the right to use in-app payment services other than those offered by app stores. The nation's Science, ICT, Broadcasting and Communications Committee yesterday recommended amendments to the relevant telecoms legislation after more than a year of debate. Breaking …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Five per cent

    If Google and Apple had reigned in their lust for money and set the tax at 5%, we wouldn't be having any of these discussions.

    But no, they had to go all rapacious and greedy and set their tax at 30%, which is 29.994% more than the cost of running their Store.

    I'm not against making money, but there comes a point where you have to admit that the rate is largely exaggerated.

    30% is definitely in the exaggerated category. Then there is the added insult of not allowing in-app purchases from outside the Store - but even that would be less of an issue if the tax was 5%.

    1. Andy E

      Re: Five per cent

      While I agree 30% does seem excessive I think we would be having these discussions at what ever rate was set - even 5%. It seems to have moved onto a philosophical argument about monopolies. .

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Five per cent

        The argument would carry a lot less power if the rate was 5%, which is a third/quarter of what people habitually pay in VAT. But 30%? That's nearly a third. Far too much, and easy ammunition for the argument.

    2. Gordon 10

      Re: Five per cent

      They (Apple, Google) should be landed with a flat fee approach. The app stores costs are fixed and have no relation to the price of the app. In app payment via alternative channels should be explicitly protected by law, and contractual ways of working around them explicitly made unenforceable.

    3. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Five per cent

      "Madam, we’ve already established you're a whore. Now we are haggling about the price"

  2. Potemkine! Silver badge

    South Korea made a good move. Fighting monopolies is a good thing. How could the US, the champion of capitalism, be against?

  3. msknight

    I don't get how this works

    They set a law that gives developers the freedom to use other payment methods, but the suppliers put a term in that says developers either waive their right to do so, and use their payment methods exclusively... or go home.

    Unless they explicitly ban the suppliers from forcing such waivers on developers, indeed to the point of forcing developers to use other payment methods... (which is not necessarily a good thing) ... I can't see how this is going to change things.

    1. SImon Hobson Bronze badge

      Re: I don't get how this works

      Well the logical result if Google etc don't play ball is that they find the market in that country closed to them. S Korea might be a small country, but you can be sure that none of the big corporations want to see the precedent that they can be banned entirely - just think how many other countries would be thinking "well it worked there, perhaps we should do it too".

      Not to mention, the possibility of the companies employees (especially senior execs) being forever unable to visit that country because of the risk of being arrested.

      But if it does pass, you can be sure there'll be brinkmanship and a PR offensive.

      1. mark l 2 Silver badge

        Re: I don't get how this works

        With the mega corp that is Samsung being headquartered there, I suspect Samsung phones sell well in S. Korea. And isn't that one of the places where lot of people buy two phones? So for Google/Apple to decide pull out of that market should the law pass, it will be a big blow to both companies.

        Plus we have seen how things go with laws that Google don't like and the treat to withdraw out of the country, with the Australian news law. Which in the end Google and Facebook agreed to pay the publishers after their lobbying failed to get the law changed. So they will probably just do the same in S Korea.

  4. Irony Deficient

    South Korea tables law

    Another example of variety in English: the verb “table”, i.e. “to put on the agenda” (in many dialects), can be its own antonym, “to remove from the agenda” (in other dialects). Caveat lector.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: South Korea tables law

      Blame America. Thomas Jefferson's original Manual of Parliamentary Procedure followed the English tradition but it was gradually perverted or as the House puts it, evolved. From the House Rules:

      "When the House has something else which claims its present attention, but would be willing to reserve in their power to take up a proposition whenever it shall suit them, they order it to lie on their table. It may then be called for at any time. ...

      But by an interesting evolution in the House the motion has now come to serve an entirely new purpose, being used for the final, adverse disposition of a matter. And a matter once laid on the table may be taken therefrom only by suspension of the rules."

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