back to article Google snubs South Korea's app store payments law

South Korea's Communications Commission has determined that Google has not complied with the nation's law – the first of its kind in the world – requiring operators of app stores to allow third-party payments. The law came into effect in September 2021, after South Korea decided the likes of Google and Apple wield too much …

  1. David 132 Silver badge
    Trollface

    To be fair to Google…

    …they use the money raised by their 15% cut to fund a really, really thorough and exhaustive application review process, as a result of which not a single Play Store app has ever contained malware or spyware. And the remainder of the Store revenue goes to fund a first-class customer support operation; it’s lovely to be able to call a freephone number from anywhere in the world and speak to a knowledgeable, fluent, helpful agent to solve your Store problems at any hour of the day or night.

    Note icon, and feel free to mutter about “the lowest form of wit”…

    1. b0llchit Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: To be fair to Google…

      I think you need a google play store logo photo with a backing group of people holding alternative payment options and service personnel at gunpoint. The text reads: Diversity we provide, doing our very best to serve your interests.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: To be fair to Google…

      "And the remainder of the Store revenue goes to fund a first-class customer support operation;"

      I thought they were feeding orphans with the rest of the money? Because Google cares, they really, really do.

  2. LDS Silver badge

    It's ironic when they outline the costs of running their services and the need to be paid...

    ... but then look for any way they can find to avoid paying taxes to pay running all those services a State makes available and from which they greatly take advantages...

    It's time for an Online Store Tax - 33% of their stores revenues paid where the customer buys - after all they tax developers on revenues, not profits.

    1. usbac

      Re: It's ironic when they outline the costs of running their services and the need to be paid...

      While I agree with the spirit of this tax, the megacorps will not absorb it, they will just inflate their prices and pass it along to us consumers. They will never take the hit to their massive profit margins.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: It's ironic when they outline the costs of running their services and the need to be paid...

        It's not that simple otherwise they would not try to avoid taxes, they would just pass the cost along. Prices can't be always set freely because at a certain point sales drop and profits go away.

        Anyway it was a provocation - if they have their preciousssss services to run States have them also.

  3. msobkow Silver badge

    What a shock. American Megacorp ignores local rules and regulations, basically claiming "I'm an American; I can do whatever I want." :(

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Meh

      Sure, tell yourself it's just American corporations.

  4. VoiceOfTruth

    Google and law

    -> Google quickly agreed to comply with the law

    Is that how law works for Google? They agree to comply with it?

    South Korea should take the following steps:

    1. Ban Google.

    2. Block access to any and all Google IP addresses.

    3a. Commence criminal investigations against the management of Google.

    3b. Seek to extradite Google's management to face trial. (Well I know this won't work - thanks to American injustice).

    4. Fine Google $500 million a day until they pay up.

    1. Kevin Johnston

      Re: Google and law

      You missed a step although it could be a variant of 3b

      Require all companies who have local revenues over xMillion to have an in-country executive who is PERSONALLY liable for any infractions. When that person is jailed the company must stand up the next patsy.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Real world?

    > Google and Apple have argued those fees are akin to rents paid for real-world retail premises because they reflect the cost of operating their digital stores.

    Now maybe I'm just ignorant of modern commercial real-estate agreements, but do landlords really charge retailers a %age of the value of all products sold on their premises? And landlords also provide payment facilities for the retailer, and contractually bar the retailer from collecting payment through any other system or provider?

    What a world we live in!

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Real world?

      In some cases, yes, that's exactly how it works. Some department stores contain franchises which operate under the banner of the department store name and use the stores tills and billing system. Although to be fair, I'm not knowledgeable enough to confirm how they are charged for rent.

      I'm referring to the UK here and in particular how House of Fraser (used to?) operate.

    2. usbac

      Re: Real world?

      Yes, in many large malls and retail centers, the landlord imposes a fee that is a percentage of sales. I was appalled when I found this out many years ago. About 5% was the going rate back then.

      This is another reason why brick-and-mortar stores are disappearing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "any large malls and retail centers"

        That's because they are another kind of mafia.

        I rent two shops, and the tenants pay a flat rent plus some variable expenses, like water/heating. I realy don't know under which contractual obligations I could force them to reveal me their revenues and pay a percentage of them. But I'm sure big companies have lawyers taking care of that too.

        Maybe someone would introduce something like that for housing too - pay a percentage of your yearly income.

    3. schultzter

      Re: Real world?

      Indirectly YES.

      Succesful shops move to more desirable locations where the rent is higher.

      If you have less revenue you move to a location with lower rent.

      As for payment systems it wouldn't surprise me to find out a mall operator who provides basic infrastructure like heat, lighting, etc. also provides data networking and payment processing and requires them to be offered - even if you tell customers you prefer cash or e-transfer. The payment processors contract with the mall probably stipulates some kind of exclusivity to the extent it's legally allowed.

      1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

        Re: Real world?

        Indeed, business do tend to locate where the rent and other considerations hit an optimum level for them. But this is yet another area where the analogy breaks down. The Apple/Google duopoly effectively means that developers are forced to rent a store in one of two malls, with Apple and Google having put up barriers top prevent almost all potential customers from going elsewhere in town. So the developer (analogy, retailer) isn't free to choose a locations/type of shop/payment processor/etc that suits them - they are being blackmailed into using the combinations imposed by Apple and Google between them.

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