If Apple has no problem complying with Chinese regulations, the situation in Korea is more complicated. Recently, the country passed a law requiring the App Store to allow alternative payment mechanisms. Of course, this doesn’t please Apple at all, which will have to set aside some of its useful commissions.
The Korean regulator has asked Apple and Google to send in their compliance plans before mid-October. But Apple seems to want to save time: According to Reuters, the creator simply replied that the App Store ” already in compliance ”, and that it did not need to change its policy in this area.
Which is very surprising because the current functioning of the App Store is completely contrary to the new law of the country. Is Apple trying to save time? If the company doesn’t do anything, it could launch a new antitrust investigation that could last several months.
Such relief could allow Apple to establish its own system of external links to alternative means of payment, as proposed by Apple for certain types of applications. In practice, this would allow developers to redirect their users to an external store (a website, for example). In the case of Netflix, a subscriber can subscribe directly from the application through the Safari window, which is currently not possible.
Apple explained that it would limit this system to consulting applications, namely those offering books, videos, music, etc. California Justice wants Apple to allow this principle for all apps, but the company ultimately appealed. It remains to be seen whether this strategy will be sufficient to satisfy the Korean government. For its part, Google is acting as a good student and has announced to follow the rules. Talks between the regulator and the Mountain View firm will begin next week.
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