Both Google and Apple have been facing increased criticism recently concerning the Play Store and App Store forcing developers to use their in-house in-app purchasing methods. Now, The Wall Street Journal reports that South Korea has passed a bill banning this practice, allowing developers to bill users through third-party methods.
South Korea sides with devs
The bill is an amendment of South Korea’s Telecommunications Business Act, and intends to prevent Apple and Google from taking advantage of their positions as hosts for app developers.
Apple and Google have historically taken significant cuts from developers through their in-app purchase billing systems. Apple used to take a 30% cut of all in-app purchases as a commission fee, but dropped that to 15% for most developers following the Apple vs Epic saga in November of last year.
Google’s in-app purchases tax remains at 30%, though a lot of developers are understandably none-too-pleased with it. Some bigger names have been so displeased, in fact, that Google offered them special incentives to keep them happy and using its in-app purchase system.
According to MacRumours, Apple explains that it places this in-app purchase system on developers because it considers its platform the safest and most reliable way for consumers to make purchases. But of course it would say that.
Google and Apple’s stringent rules remain in effect across the rest of the world, but South Korea has put its foot down. Hard. We’re interested to see what kind of precedent this sets for the rest of the world in the coming months.