Google, Apple face fines totaling $50.5 million over app market practices in S.Korea

October 06,2023 - 01:31 PM

South Korea google apple

FILE PHOTO: An illuminated Google logo is seen inside an office building in Zurich, Switzerland December 5, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

SEOUL – South Korea’s telecommunications regulator said on Friday that Alphabet Inc’s Google and Apple have abused their dominant app market position and warned of possible fines totaling $50.5 million.

The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) said in a statement that the two tech giants forced app developers into specific payment methods and caused unfair delays in app review.

The KCC is notifying the companies for corrective action, and will deliberate on the fines, the statement said.

Google and Apple did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

South Korea apple

FILE PHOTO: An Apple logo is pictured outside an Apple store in Lille, France, September 13, 2023. |REUTERS

In 2021, South Korea passed an amendment to the Telecommunication Business Act banning app store operators from forcing software developers to use their payment systems.

The KCC said that Google and Apple’s enforcement of certain payment methods, and Apple’s “discriminatory charging of fees to domestic app developers” is likely to undermine the law’s purpose of promoting fair competition.

After hearing from the companies, the regulator could decide to impose fines of up to 68 billion won ($50.47 million), including 47.5 billion won for Google and 20.5 billion won for Apple, KCC said.


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TAGS: app market, apple, fines, Google, South Korea

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