In the end even the recalcitrant Apple had to fold to the rules enacted in South Korea on the subject of payments on alternative platforms. The Apple took some time longer than Google, which had already aligned itself with the bill approved by the National Assembly of South Korea in November, allowing developers to channel payments through a platform other than the one made available by Google.
The story of “monopolies” of Apple and Google on payments has been topical in the technological landscape for years, e South Korea was the first nation to take concrete steps to undermine the status quo. Apple sought a compromise solution and in August announced changes to the fees charged to developers, forced by a class action initiated in the US: the largest developers would continue to pay 30% of the payments in the Cupertino coffers, while for the others – the majority – the commission was halved.
But the opening did not help to avoid the “worst” for Cupertino’s health. The Korea Herald reported that Apple took the first step towards alignment by explaining to the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) how it intends to align to the new provisions, without however giving details when it will all materialize because first he feels he has to deal with some dubious issues with the KCC.
We look forward to working with the KCC and our developer community on a solution for our Korean users – Apple’s words reported by the Korea Herald – Apple has great respect for the laws of Korea, and longstanding partnerships with the country’s talented app developers. Our work will always aim to keep the App Store a safe and reliable place.
However, Apple has made it known that the possibility for customers to pay for apps and services with systems other than the one integrated into the App Store it will not imply the cancellation of any commission for developers: they will simply be reduced. For the moment, even in this case, the details are in vain. Google has opted for the same policy, reducing the commission on payments that transit outside the official channels by 4%, or from 15% to 11%. The impression is that sooner or later the turning point triggered by Korea will affect all the markets in which the two giants operate.