South Korea to review impact of app store commission fees

The Ministry of Science and ICT's review is largely in reaction to Google's in-app payment system.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer
Google Play Store
Image: Google, ZDNet

South Korea's Ministry of Science and ICT said on Wednesday that it will review the impact of in-app store commission fees for local content companies.

The review is largely in reaction to Google's planned changes for its in-app payment policy.

The US search giant currently requires local game apps to use its in-app payment system and takes a 30% cut from any purchases made within these apps.

The company is planning to expand this policy to apply for all digital content, however, such as local music and digital comic apps, which are popular in South Korea. Local app developers have claimed that this change is against the law.

In a statement, the ministry said the "influence of online platform providers is continuing to expand" and the review would be conducted to help it form a policy position in relation to this changing landscape.

The ministry added that it would work to make sure platform providers and the local app industry are able to continue to collaborate while ensuring consumer interests are protected.

It will also review the impact of Google's updated policy on the sales of content companies and whether these content companies will be forced to increase their consumer fees in reaction to the changes.

When ZDNet reached out to Google, it was unavailable for comment.

South Korea's Fair Trade Commission, meanwhile, said it is also monitoring the issue closely but said nothing has been decided as yet.

In the United States, Apple and Epic are currently embroiled in an escalating row over Apple's 30% commission for in-app purchases.

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