Apple to voluntarily correct unfair commission policy in app market

Seoul:  Tech giant Apple has expressed its intention to voluntarily correct its commission policy, which ends up charging more for local app developers, South Korea’s antitrust regulator has said.

The move came after the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) launched a probe into Apple amid criticism that the company charges commission fees based on the consumer price inclusive of value-added tax only on South Korean developers.

“In September, the FTC promptly launched a probe following reports that Apple charges unfair commissions on only local app developers,” Chairperson Han Ki-jeong told reporters during his visit to NCSOFT Corp, a major South Korean online and mobile game developer.

The FTC said that while overseas app developers paid a 30 per cent commission to Apple, local firms were asked to pay a 33 per cent rate, as they were charged based on the price that includes a 10 per cent value-added tax.

“Recently, Apple said it will voluntarily correct the problematic action by January next year,” Han added. “Should Apple fix it well, it will ease difficulties of domestic app developers to some extent.”

The chairperson said that the FTC will continue monitoring fair practices in the app market and establish an ecosystem that benefits both operators and developers.

Last year, the South Korean National Assembly passed the law that bans app store operators from forcing in-app payment systems on developers, making South Korea the first country in the world to introduce such curbs on in-app billing policies of global tech giants.

In August, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) said it will launch aA probe into Google Play, App Store and ONE store over potential violations of the country’s revised Telecommunications Business Act.

The KCC determined that the companies were potentially in violation of the law by enforcing certain in-app payment methods and refusing developers who use external payment methods to register and renew their apps on their markets, reports Yonhap news agency.

–IANS

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