South Korea is reportedly drafting a law targeting Google and Apple’s app store duopoly
Following Google’s woes in the U.S., South Korea is reportedly drafting a law targeting Google and Apple’s app store duopoly. The law drafted and set to be processed as early as the 23rd of July prevents app market operators such as Google or Apple from doing the following:
- Forcing a specific payment method on the developer
- Obstructing the developer from registering the app on other app markets
- Delaying app registration in the app market
- Unfairly deleting content from the app market
The law (as reported by joins), is being drafted in order to tackle both Apple and Google in their current states. Right now, app developers that want to launch an app are at the behest of either company without alternatives, even in the event of an increase in fees or the introduction of a user-hostile practice. With regulators beginning to catch up on big tech companies, control is getting relinquished from companies like Apple and Google when it comes to their application markets. As argued by regulators, any app that doesn’t get admitted to either store will have a much harder time being successful, which points to the power that both companies wield in their respective operating systems.
A bill submitted in North Dakota earlier this year (which was rejected) proposed very similar legislation. The bill was being lobbied by the “Coalition for App Fairness” non-profit, and attention has now turned to other states like Arizona, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin that are considering similar legislation. The “Coalition for App Fairness” non-profit is a group of companies primarily pitted against Apple and Google’s duopoly. If South Korea’s legislation is passed, it’s possible that we may see a change in how apps are distributed to smartphones in the future. This would be the first of its kind bill to pass into any country’s laws, should it be drafted and accepted.
“Google and Apple’s policy to enforce in-app payment is a representative unfair act that threatens fair competition in the digital economy,” the Korea Startup Forum said (via Google Translate). “We welcome a bill that addresses a major threat to the future of domestic startups and the content industry.”