back to article Google won't fight South Korea's new app store payment laws requiring third-party payments

Google's South Korean operation has decided to comply with the nation's new law that prohibits it from restricting payments to its own Play Store, either to pay for apps or for in-app purchases. The law was enacted in September and was the world's first such legislation. As such it is of considerable interest, as Google and …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If Android becomes other than free, then Android will face competition. If Android faces competition there will be other stores competing with Google Play. If there are other stores competing with Google Play, the middleman fee would drop anyway.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, err, Google "funds" Android development from sales in the Play Store. And if they have to allow other payment options, the Play Store will immediately become a ghost town and suddenly Korean Android will be in grave peril because all of the users have fled to other payment platforms? Meaning, ehhh, that Google will need to innovate in ways that keep consumers using their service instead of the alternatives. Which, hmmm, sounds EXACTLY like how Capitalism (the same system that made Google so rich) is supposed to work.

    No tears for Google. They've had it their way for years and made scads of money to "fund" Android. Not sure if Android, or the Play Store, are any better after all of that funding, although I bet the Google/Alphabet execs have enjoyed walking in high cotton for so long.

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      Don't forget that, although Android is free, Google's Play Store, Gmail, GMaps, Getc. aren't. Phone makers must pay a Google license to offer that app suite, collectively called Google Mobile Services.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      I don't need that many words to say no love lost for Google.

  3. KittenHuffer Silver badge

    The shocking news here is that Microsoft have a storefront!!! Where is that? Cos I've never seen it!

    1. GloriousVictoryForThePeople

      Prosecution: "Microsoft only charge 10% on their store"

      Apple/Google Defense: "We rest our case your honour, no further witnesses"

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boris + Digital Economy

    Boris, so you did Brexit and then did fook all that you couldn't have done while in the EU. Yet the "digital economy" thing is *doable* now and it wasn't before... how?

    What's missing from the digital economy? Money, they can make a website that provides a useful service/product, but unless its a service that's worth sufficient money per transaction there is no way to bill for it. There is a minimum fee per transaction for payment systems, and no way around that. There is no way to get paid for it.

    Adverts? Well Google will suck 85%+ of most sites ad revenue, there are very few breakthrough sites that have enough leverage to get a payout from Google.

    How is your digital economy going to reimburse successful sites that attract lots of visitors? It cannot.

    You cannot have a digital economy without the 'economy' part.

    Yet people DO PAY for the Internet, and there is a group of middlemen sucking down that content and reselling it at HUGE profit (£22 billion pa in BT's case). They pay NOTHING for that content they resell, yet without it they have nothing to sell.

    It's a less than zero sum. The content sites have to *pay* for their connectivity and pay for their bandwidth and pay for their servers, yet BT get to *sell* that onwards to their customers for free. It's their customers that are visiting those sites and causing that flow of data. It's their customers that are receiving the benefit and paying handsomely for that benefit. It's just that BT are pocketing *ALL* of that money. They are middlemen parasites.

    So, you pass a content law. BT, EE Sky etc. sets aside 10% of its ISP fee to be paid to the content sites. ISP customer receives digital 'money' tokens for the portion of their internet fee they paid. 1 token 1 quid, and their unused balance accumulates. Websites can sell goods and services and receive payment from that balance, in these tokens.

    New UK sites will spring up enabled by the new source of money, initially targetting the UK customers. I anticipate third party digital retailers of the tokens to appear too over time with their own web interfaces. Again they will be UK based due to the nature of the payment system. New digital economy. If new sites are a success from the UK token, they will be able to then leverage the token payment systems to export that success abroad. While foreign sites, in a similar position will have no payment mechanism and no way to profit, giving the UK sites an advantage.

    The parasitic nature of the end ISPs is turned into a positive thing, they become the billing mechanism. They need new services and reasons for people to pay for more internet, this gives them new services and reasons to sell internet connections. Ultimately the success of this system is their success, it gives them the driver to sell their overpriced ISP services to customers.

    And it gives you your digital economy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Boris + Digital Economy

      TF does this have to do with Brexit? Could you butt-hurt people please get off your one trick pony soapbox, it's getting a little tiresome. Good or bad (or terrible), it's happened. Get on with it. The rest of the world utterly doesn't care about your rainy little island.

    2. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Boris + Digital Economy


      Service providers pay for their connectivity

      Consumers pay for their connectivity

      Where does BT charge based on content again?

  5. jollyboyspecial

    I don't have a problem with their not allowing third party payment systems. Where I have a problem is their reserving the right to take as big a cut of payments as they like. As such I think a better solution would be a cap on Google/Apple's cut. Maybe a percentage of the transaction value - and a small one at that or maybe a flat rate per transaction (and I'm talking a few cents at most)

    A lot of game developers are totally unscrupulous about their in game charges and they can't justify those ridiculous prices by claiming that they are governed by Apple/Google's cut. EA are probably the greediest by a distance. Pick one of their games - say Real Racing 3 - and take a look at the charges. Allowing them to use their own payment systems will not suddenly make their charges reasonable.

    There is a fine line to tread here. EA and their ilk are using Google and Apple to make money but they don't want to give Google or Apple a cut of that money. Imagine selling a physical product through a third party high street shop, but expecting the customer to be able to pay you direct and pick up the goods from the shop without giving the shop owner a penny. However on the other side of the line you have Google and Apple as the shopkeeper who want to be able to take a massive cut from every sale but ban you from selling your wares through any other shops.

    In that respect I prefer google simply because I've never owned an Android device where I couldn't sideload apps fairly simply so at least that gives you something of a back door around some of the issues. And then of course there's the ability to buy apps from the likes of Amazon. Yes it's another big nasty corporation that wants all your money so at least there's a little bit of choice. Apple do their best to prevent you from having any choice at all.

    What infuriates me about both of them is that they both try to justify their behaviour by saying they are doing this to protect their customers. From what exactly? Choice?

    1. Falmari Silver badge

      using Google and Apple!!

      @jollyboyspecial "There is a fine line to tread here. EA and their ilk are using Google and Apple to make money but they don't want to give Google or Apple a cut of that money."

      No they are not, they are using the software they write to make money the platform is irrelevant. For example Epic's Fortnite is coded for multiple OS's, should Microsoft be entailed to a cut for the Windows version or Apple for the Mac version? Of course not, any more than a company that make after market exhausts for Ford cars or Honda motorcycles should pay a cut to Ford or Honda.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

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