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  • Philip Osadebay - Tech Journalist

Google and Apple are cautioned by South Korea of potential fines for app marketing

Google and Apple are under the scrutiny of South Korea's regulatory authorities due to concerns over their app marketing practices. This cautionary act by South Korea has raised an eye opener globally, as it undermines the growing importance of fair competition and user protection in the digital marketplace.

South Korea, often regarded as a tech-savvy nation has been closely monitoring the app market, especially the dominance of Google's Play Store and Apple's App Store. The country's regulatory bodies argue that the market power wielded by these tech giants has led to unfair practices, including exorbitant commission fees and restrictive policies, which can make competition tough and harm smaller app developers.

The South Korean government took a step by passing a bill known as the "Anti-Google Law" in August 2021. This legislation was targeted to curb the monopolistic tendencies of app store operators by allowing alternative payment methods within apps.

South Korean authorities have now issued a warning to both Google and Apple, indicating that they could face substantial fines if found in violation of the new legislation. The fines could reach up to 3% of the respective companies' South Korean revenue. This could be valued at millions, if not billions of dollars in penalties.

The repercussions of South Korea's actions could extend beyond its borders. Other countries are closely monitoring these developments and may consider similar legislation to address concerns about the control and influence that tech giants have over their app ecosystems. This could potentially reshape the global app market.

Smaller app developers are cautiously optimistic about the changes with this bill. If Google and Apple are forced to reduce their commission fees or open up to alternative payment methods, it could level the playing field, making it easier for independent developers to thrive and compete in the app market.

For users, this would lead to more affordable app prices and improved choices. Lower fees may encourage app developers to invest in innovative features and services, ultimately benefiting consumers.


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