Naturally, our beloved tech giants, Google and Apple, want you to exclusively use their own billing systems for in-app purchases on mobile phones and tablets.
For that reason, they have faced global scrutiny for forcing developers to use their payment systems and charging them a commission of up to 30%. Governments around the world have tried to curb its control, but to no avail.
Up to now.
South Korea’s “Anti-Google” Law … It Has Worked!
You may recall that in August, South Korea passed a new bill, also known as the “anti-Google” law, which prohibits large app store operators like Google and Apple from forcing developers to exclusively use their payment systems.
The law came into force in mid-September and if any app store operator does not comply, they will have to pay 3% of their revenue in South Korea.
While it was to be expected that Google would not give up easily and walk away without a fight, the unexpected has happened.
On Thursday, Google announced via a blog post that it would comply with South Korean law and let third payment options for in-app purchases.
How does it work?
The ad says:
In response to recent legislation, developers will now be able to add an alternative in-app billing system, alongside Google Play’s billing system, for their mobile and tablet users in South Korea. At the end of the purchase, users will be able to choose which billing system to use.
And there is more. Google, which charges developers a 15% service fee for distributing apps, said it would reduce it to 11% when users choose an alternative billing system. Because the company recognize that developers will incur costs to support their own billing system.
To curb their enthusiasm a bit, Google added that alternative billing systems “It may not offer the same protections or payment options and features of the Google Play billing system, such as parental controls, family payment methods, subscription management, Google Play gift cards and Game points. “
Because, of course, nothing compares to Google’s own products. And it could give South Koreans another option, but I certainly wish they didn’t use it.
Is Apple next?
That’s still unclear, and for now, Apple hasn’t made any changes in response to the legislation.
According to the Wall street journalApple has told authorities that its current policies are in line with the law. The WSJ notes that the company could wiggle a bit.
The bill does not directly regulate fees, but rather states that apps cannot be forced to choose a specific payment option due to “unreasonable fees.” Apple could argue that its rates are not irrational, although that is up to the Korea Communications Commission (KCC).
But whatever happens to Apple, Google’s compliance is definitely an example to remember. So celebrate this day, people! Saying “no” to Google really works. Who knows…