South Korea is "very likely" to pass a law that would ban Apple and Google from forcing developers to use their respective app payment systems, cutting off companies from a key revenue stream that would cause huge damage to their ecosystems.
Source reports that the country is "expected" to approve an amendment to the Telecommunications Business Act, colloquially known as the "anti-Google law." If approved, the amendment will go to a final vote on Wednesday. This law could be a disaster for Apple's App Store, as it would effectively take away Apple's ability to receive 30% (or 15%) of transactions made in the App Store for digital goods, as developers would be allowed to use payment systems other than in-app purchases.
The measure is one of the main arguments in Apple's battle with Epic Games. The company, which creates the game Fortnite, argues that developers should have the right to choose how they allow customers to pay for their digital goods. Currently, developers on the App Store must use in-app purchases, from which Apple gets a share, either 15% or 30%, depending on how much the developer earns.
The new rule of law is similar to bills that have emerged in the EU and the US following increased scrutiny of Apple, Google and their respective app markets.
The move likely won't go unnoticed by Apple. In court during the Epic Games trial, Tim Cook said that if developers were allowed to use alternative payment methods on the App Store, the company would still charge a fee on those transactions, or at least try to do so.
Illustration: James Yarema