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What you need to know

  • Apple and Google are under investigation in Korea.
  • The Ministry of Science and ICT is looking into the payment systems of both companies' app stores.
  • It has been suggested that the 30% commission each takes is excessive.

The Ministry of Science and ICT in Korea has said it will look into Apple and Google's respective payment systems over claims the rate of commission is excessive.

From The Korea Herald:

The Ministry of Science and ICT said Wednesday that it will look into Google and Apple's in-app payment systems over claims that they apply excessive commissions to app developers using their platforms.

Earlier this month, local startups filed a petition over Apple and Google's in-app purchase system in the country. From that report:

A group of startups in Korea has filed a petition to the Korea Communications Commission, on the grounds that Apple's in-app purchase system appears to be unlawful.

According to The Korea Herald:

Local startup companies Wednesday have submitted a petition to the Korea Communications Commission, asking for an investigation into whether Apple and Google are violating laws related to in-app purchases.

Local developers are arguing that both companies are throwing their weight around, asking for "excessive" commission rates from developers who use their respective in-app payment systems. According to the report, the ministry will collect opinions from app developers and other sources to gauge whether Apple and Google's rates are too high:

"(The ministry) will carefully monitor and prepare policies that can cope with the increasing influence of platform providers. The ministry will also mediate between developers and platform operators to secure user rights."

The news is of course important against the backdrop of Epic Games' lawsuits against both Apple and Google over their respective app store policies. Epic claims that both companies have a monopoly over the way software is distributed on iOS and Android. The 30% cut taken by both is a key cornerstone of Epic's argument that the arrangement is unfair.