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Google’s billing policy violates South Korean law, says Regulator

Google’s billing policy violates South Korean law, says Regulator

South Korea’s network and IT services regulator has reportedly concluded that Google’s new billing policy is in violation of the South Korean law that bars dominant app store operators from forcing their payment systems on app developers.

The landmark law, which came into effect in September, prohibits large app store operators like Google and Apple from forcing their inbuilt payment systems on independent app developers.

The Korean Communications Commission is expected to make a final judgment based on the constraint and unfairness of Google’s new payment policy after reviewing related cases. Adding to this, the regulator will also supposedly make possible sanctions based on the law.

According to reports, Google has announced that it plans to ban disobedient apps that use external payment methods links other than Google’s payment method, beginning June 1.

The KCC has reportedly stated that if app store operators block updates for developers that choose external payment systems or bar apps employing alternate payment methods from making use of the app store, then it would be pushed into conducting situational checkups. If the allegations are found to be true, the KCC will take the case into an investigation.

Highlighting the newly revised law on the enforcement of penalties for firms that fail to comply with the regulator’s order for following restrictions or submitting requested documents, the regulator also stated that it would actively enforce the penalty law.

As a result, Google could be fined a sum of ₩50 million ($41,000) if it does not submit the required documents. The tech giant would also be faced with a fine equivalent to 0.2% of its daily sales if it fails to follow the KCC’s orders.

According to reports, the KCC has also disclosed plans to establish online and offline app store damage reporting centers this month. App developers have been implored to file reports at the center in case they incur damages from Google’s new billing policy, which is actively violating the country’s law.

The Citizen United for Consumer Sovereignty has criticized Google’s payment policy as it is leading to an increased burden on consumers. It now plans to sue Google if no improvements are made.

Chairman of the KCC, Han Sang-hyuk, stated that the KCC would put efforts into ensuring users’ rights by actively applying laws and enforcing decrees to faithfully realize the legislative purpose and settle the system.

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Omkar Patwardhan

Omkar Patwardhan started his professional career in the hospitality industry. Having nurtured a deep-sated passion for words however, he found his way into content writing and now pens down articles for numerous websites, including News Origins, spanning the sectors of business, finance, and technology.