South Korean legislation could force external payment options onto App Store

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The South Korean government is set to introduce legislation that will force Apple and Google to allow alternate payment options, and the Coalition for App Fairness is lobbying for passage.

The South Korean bill would be the first of its kind around the globe, one that would prevent app market owners from setting restrictions around payment systems. The Coalition for App Fairness hopes this bill will set a precedent that will spur U.S. legislators to do the same.

According to Yonhap News, Match Group SVP and Coalition founder Mark Buse met with Korean Democratic Party lawmakers at the National Assembly. He supported the nascent bill and cited that at least 15 states had made similar legislative moves surrounding app payments.

The new bill will amend the Telecommunications Business Act in a move approved by the National Assembly's Science, ICT, Broadcasting and Communications Committee. This decision was made after Google's move to replicate Apple's App Store rules by requiring developers to use Google's payment system and pay up to 30% of revenue.

The outcry from developers forced Google to push back enforcement of its new policy to March 2022, but legislators may step in. Both Google and Apple argue that such amendments may put users at risk of fraud.

The Coalition for App Fairness consists of several companies, many of which have some negative history with Apple. Spotify, Epic Games, and Tinder are all a part of the coalition.

If the South Korean government passes this legislation, it could mean a big increase in global pressure as other countries adopt similar laws around payment systems. Apple and Google may be compelled to enable alternate payment systems or exit business in countries with such laws.