Korean Startups Call for Investigation into Apple and Google In-App Purchases

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Multiple startup companies in Korea are calling for an investigation into Apple and Google's in-app purchase practices, reports The Korea Herald.



An alliance of app developers and small companies submitted a petition to the Korea Communications Commission earlier today, asking for an investigation into whether Apple and Google may be violating Korean laws on in-app purchases and anti-competitive behavior.

They explain that Apple has been forcing developers to use their specific in-app purchase system since 2011, through which Apple takes a 30 percent commission. Google demands game apps in Korea use its own in-app purchase module and adds an additional game-only commission.

"While the 30 percent commission rate is too high in itself, it is more problematic that they force a specific payment system for the app markets," said Choi Sung-jin, President of the Korea Startup Forum.
Sung-jin added that while large developers may be able to negotiate lower rates of commission with platform providers, it is out of reach to smaller developers and startups who cannot afford to do so. Moreover, they fear that setting about a negotiation could eventually lead to a hike in in-app purchase commissions.

Apple and Google made up 87.8 percent of the Korean app market in 2019, and the issue is effectively an antitrust dispute. The Korean offices of Apple and Google did not provide a comment.

Tech companies are coming under fire in antitrust complaints around the world, with investigations underway in the U.S., the EU, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Russia. Companies such as Microsoft, Spotify, Airbnb, and Epic Games have also joined calls for greater control over app store terms and rates of commission.

Article Link: Korean Startups Call for Investigation into Apple and Google In-App Purchases
 
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@Brett

macrumors member
Aug 25, 2016
68
49
So Apple and Google make up 87.8% of the Korean app market. Well then they should have no trouble selling their apps if that is the case. They could always go sell their apps on Samsung’s App Store. Otherwise pay your fair share for what seems like extensive market coverage.
 

Koudspeel

macrumors regular
Apr 8, 2013
145
150
As much as I love Apple, I'm very glad that their monopolistic position gets investigated. Developers simply do not have a choice. Sure they can neglect the Apple App Store but that means they're missing out on a lot of sales.

Something has to be done.

In an ideal situation Apple should allow third party stores and services. They could make it so that these stores first have to comply to a set of rules and have their code checked.
 

Anaxarxes

macrumors regular
Feb 27, 2008
229
61
Amsterdam, Netherlands
As much as I love Apple, I'm very glad that their monopolistic position gets investigated. Developers simply do not have a choice. Sure they can neglect the Apple App Store but that means they're missing out on a lot of sales.

Something has to be done.

In an ideal situation Apple should allow third party stores and services. They could make it so that these stores first have to comply to a set of rules and have their code checked.
I support the investigations, too. But I am against the 3rd party app stores, period.

I choose Apple for their emphasis on privacy and keeping the Ecosystem clean and tidy for the best user experience. I understand that some feel differently and that's why there are other ecosystems/platforms to choose.
 

spazzcat

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2007
2,776
1,614
So Apple and Google make up 87.8% of the Korean app market. Well then they should have no trouble selling their apps if that is the case. They could always go sell their apps on Samsung’s App Store. Otherwise pay your fair share for what seems like extensive market coverage.
I would never in a million years use some random in-app credit card service to buy something. These developers are dreaming if they think people will use anything other then Apple to pay for things in their apps.
 

Forti

macrumors member
Nov 14, 2018
52
113
Gdynia, Poland
So Apple and Google make up 87.8% of the Korean app market. Well then they should have no trouble selling their apps if that is the case. They could always go sell their apps on Samsung’s App Store. Otherwise pay your fair share for what seems like extensive market coverage.
Just lol. The 30% on Play Store is not something you can't avoid as you have a few options:
- go to samsung store or just distribute your app without any store, e.g. directly from website
- offer another payment method, e.g. PayPall

on apple side you have no options. You have to use apple payment method AND you have to be in Apple App Store.
 

Anaxarxes

macrumors regular
Feb 27, 2008
229
61
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Let's entertain the whole economy with this:

I want a Tesla but I want a V8. This is anti-competitive, why should I have to choose an electric Motor. I want Tesla's Tech but with a ICE. What#s gonna happen?

I want HBO content but I want it on Netflix. Why should I buy HBO subscription for only one content? I want to watch the Irishman on Amazon Prime. What is gonna happen?

I want Final Cut Pro X on Windows. Why should I have to buy a mac for it?

This is endless and nonsense.

Stick to the monopoly part and adjust the charges/fees down from 30% if needed but do not force everything outside the ecosystem into it. This is not OK.
 

willyx

macrumors member
Apr 25, 2014
79
337
I would never in a million years use some random in-app credit card service to buy something. These developers are dreaming if they think people will use anything other then Apple to pay for things in their apps.
Yeah, sure. As if people did not pay for tenths of things outside the App Store using a myriad of platforms for payment without even noticing. I know you want to defend Apple at all costs but these arguments are getting ridiculous.
 

Wildkraut

macrumors 6502a
Nov 8, 2015
915
1,110
I would never in a million years use some random in-app credit card service to buy something. These developers are dreaming if they think people will use anything other then Apple to pay for things in their apps.
A few will, a few won’t... whats why multiple choices are great. The sheeps who fears the outer world can simply continue staying behind the fence.
 

Wildkraut

macrumors 6502a
Nov 8, 2015
915
1,110
Yeah, sure. As if people did not pay for tenths of things outside the App Store using a myriad of platforms for payment without even noticing. I know you want to defend Apple at all costs but these arguments are getting ridiculous.
Exactly, they still didn’t realize how many shady card readers they already pulled their cards through, their data has been spread already around the world. It’s inevitable!
 

Riffz60

macrumors member
Oct 25, 2016
65
214
This is getting silly.

Apple produces the hardware for these apps to run on.

They also produce the OS the apps run on.

They provide the storefront for these apps to be hosted on. Allowing the storefront to deal with the payment, distribution and customer service for the purchase of these apps.

if a company wants to produce software for running on these specific devices they can understand and agree to these terms.

If they think this is anti competitive they can put their software somewhere else.

Everyone on the App Store is on a level playing field. If you don’t think you’re getting enough then you’re not pricing your apps appropriately.
 

Riffz60

macrumors member
Oct 25, 2016
65
214
Everyone on the App Store is paying the same fees.

As with any product the retailer markup should be taken into account when pricing. If the developer doesn’t think they’re making enough then they should be pricing their products higher. And if it truly is a monopoly the prices of everything on the App Store would be prices accordingly for everyone.

This is simply developers being greedy. Apple’s strength is its ecosystem and developers know what they’re signing up for. They just don’t want to pay for the benefits. But I can guarantee if they didn’t have Apple most of them wouldn’t be able to achieve anything.

As much as I love Apple, I'm very glad that their monopolistic position gets investigated. Developers simply do not have a choice. Sure they can neglect the Apple App Store but that means they're missing out on a lot of sales.

Something has to be done.

In an ideal situation Apple should allow third party stores and services. They could make it so that these stores first have to comply to a set of rules and have their code checked.
 

Born2Run

macrumors member
Nov 27, 2010
53
96
Brighton
Get rid of IAP, stop Ads in games and just make everything 'old school' where you pay once and that's it.

I always turn on Airplane mode to stop ads and IAP requests popping up, I will usually delete the game straight away if it can't be used with Airplane mode turned on!

Apple make the rules for their store, software and hardware... if you don't like it, don't release it on iOS! Simple!
 

robertcoogan

macrumors 6502a
Apr 5, 2008
563
725
Joshua Tree, California
Yes, Apple charges developers too much. Their fee system should be graduated and based upon total sales through the App Stores. Developers just starting out could get an initial waiver on all fees - until their sales rise above a certain level, or until a time limit is up. Whichever comes first. Epic can stop their particular double-standard brand of whining. People on the whole can be grateful that the Apple App Stores are the walled gardens they are since this actually places a security control on the apps coming in - they will be screened and scanned and will not make it onto our devices untless they meet a certain standard. This way our devices (and more importantly our information) is protected.
 

genovelle

macrumors 65816
May 8, 2008
1,075
931
Let's entertain the whole economy with this:

I want a Tesla but I want a V8. This is anti-competitive, why should I have to choose an electric Motor. I want Tesla's Tech but with a ICE. What#s gonna happen?

I want HBO content but I want it on Netflix. Why should I buy HBO subscription for only one content? I want to watch the Irishman on Amazon Prime. What is gonna happen?

I want Final Cut Pro X on Windows. Why should I have to buy a mac for it?

This is endless and nonsense.

Stick to the monopoly part and adjust the charges/fees down from 30% if needed but do not force everything outside the ecosystem into it. This is not OK.
That’s just it. The fee is much lower than any game console, so where is the complaint. These companies wouldn’t exist if Apple didn’t level the Playing field. They should charge them À la cart for all related services and Promotional opportunities as it is with retail. Each of the tools should have a subscription price to cover the cost so Apple won’t need a cut. I’m willing to bet it would be less profitable than the 30%. It would also completely kill the free apps, because no one would be able to afford to do them.
Problem solved.
 

twinkletwinkle

macrumors newbie
Oct 6, 2015
8
6
Leeds
It is wrong to say developers being greedy. Remember Apple providing 5GB as iCloud storage with £1200 iPhone.

Developers are revolting against the monopolistic position and the end result should be beneficial to the customers. I fully support developers so that could earn more rather than Apple stealing the concept applications - Apple stole the idea from F.Lux about their latest extension on iOS 9.3 Beta naming it as Night Shift.
 

AndiG

macrumors regular
Nov 14, 2008
238
280
Germany
Now it gets going. I'm happy that finally there is movement. It is always bad, when there is no competition - in a working market, the best solution survives and the price regulates itself.
Now we live in a world where two tech giants control everything and the governments control the tech giants - both is bad for the user. And even between Apple and Google there is no competition - both charge 30%. This smells like an anticompetitive agreement.
 

yyy

macrumors regular
Feb 10, 2007
186
16
Apple knows that if Microsoft had forced them to give away 30% of their iTunes for Windows sales, especially back in the day when they were selling lots of songs, movies and TV shows, they would have been be so furious and end up taking Microsoft to court, just like Epic does to Apple. Using the same logic Apple uses, Microsoft had every right to force Apple to pay for iTunes on Windows but they never did it, even when they competed against them with the Zune. And yet, Microsoft lost the MP3 players wars to Apple, managed to make enough money to develop their eco-system and they're still one of the most valuable companies in the world. Apple's claims that they need the 30% cut to develop their eco-system is bogus.
 
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