Google payment policy violates the law, KCC determines
Korea's communications regulator said Tuesday that Google's new in-app payment policy will be illegal if implemented.
The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) concluded in an authoritative interpretation that Google's new rule violates the Telecommunications Business Act because it forces app operators to use a billing system run by Google or a third-party payment service hosted by Google Play.
The commission will not punish Google immediately but wait to see if Google acts on its threat despite the announcement of the government.
The penalty will be decided after an investigation of whether illegality took place or not, the KCC said.
"A detailed decision on whether the law has been violated and what measures will be taken will come after considering the results of an investigation that takes into account the status of the related parties, whether it was forced and whether it was unfair," the KCC said in a statement.
Starting April 1, Google required apps to use Google or third-party payment services hosted by Google Play. Apps are prohibited from including a link that connects the users to another app or service to make a payment without commission.
Developers that do not abide by the rule will not be able to update their apps from next month, and Google will completely remove the app if no change has been made by June 1.
The KCC listed four other practices that it will also deem illegal, including preventing an app from using the app store because it uses an alternative payment system and preventing an app from using an alternative payment system.
The KCC will accept reports from apps claiming enforcement of unfair practices and assemble a task force of experts to analyze each case.
It will form a communication channel between app developers and app market operators, and distribute information booklets about the law to prevent further unfair practices, the KCC said.
BY YOON SO-YEON [email@example.com]