In what may be called the sequel to South Korea’s “Anti-Google” law, Google has finally relented and will allow third-party payment systems in the country from now on.
This move by Google marks the first instance of the behemoth amending its policy for a specific country.
In September, South Korea had become the first nation to actively ban Apple and Google (which had reigned unchecked for a long time) from preventing third-party payments and forcing developers to use their payment systems only.
This stopped them from charging commissions on in-app purchases, while having to pay a commission of 30% on all in-app purchases, including selling digital items and subscription services. This has led to a lot of criticism, forcing them to reduce fees and even letting some apps bypass the commissions altogether.
The latest move by Google is in compliance with the “Anti-Google” law, coming after the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) had asked it to come up with compliance plans for the new law. While Google has plans to implement the new policy this year (only in South Korea), most of the anti-Google law had been effective from September.
“We were able to confirm Google’s determination to comply with the law, and I hope (Google) will implement this policy change in a way to reflect the legislative purpose of the revised law,” said KCC Chairman Han Sang-hyuk.
What does Google have to say about this? The US-based tech giant said that it respects the decision of the South Korean National Assembly. “We respect the decision of the (South Korean) National Assembly, and “We are sharing some changes to respond to this new law, including giving developers that sell in-app digital goods and services the option to add an alternative in-app billing system alongside Google Play’s billing system for their users in South Korea,” Google said in a statement.
Google added that payment systems other than its proprietary one might not offer the same protections or payment options and features its billing system provided and that developers will have to incur costs if they wanted to support their own billing systems.