South Korea may be joining the countries scrutinizing tech giants’ ownership of app stores.
Local startups have submitted a petition to the Korea Communications Commission, requesting an investigation into Apple and Google regarding whether the tech giants are violating laws by charging 30% commission on app purchases.
“While the 30% commission rate is too high in itself, it is more problematic that they force a specific payment system for the app markets,” Korea Startup Forum President Choi Sung-jin said.
Choi Sung-jin added that, although companies may be able to negotiate special rates, smaller companies cannot do so. This could eventually lead, Choi suggested, to an increase in the amount of fees requested.
During Tim Cook’s recent congressional antitrust hearing, he said that Apple treats all developers equally. He also said that Apple had no plans to raise the percentage it charges.
Korea and elsewhere: Investigating App Store fees
The amount of money that Apple charges through the App Store has been in the news a lot lately. Apple currently faces an EU antitrust investigation regarding its tight control of the App Store. Similar concerns have been raised in the US.
Most notably, Epic Games is currently engaged in a standoff with Apple over the cut that Apple takes of its iOS revenue. Apple banned Fortnite from the App Store last week after Epic introduced a direct-payment system for in-app purchases. This violated the App Store guidelines. Epic immediately responded with a civil lawsuit and a video parodying Apple’s iconic 1984 Macintosh ad. It is also reportedly trying to put together a coalition of other developers who have issues with Apple’s App Store policies.
Source: Korea Herald