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As South Korea set an example in curbing abuse of dominance by Apple and Google app stores, New Delhi-based Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) on Wednesday urged the government to create similar legislative reforms in the country to ensure a fairer app economy.

South Korea’s Cabinet has approved a revised bill that would ban app store operators from forcing developers to use their own in-app payment systems.

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Under the revised enforcement decree, app store operators will have to pay up to 2 percent of their revenue for forcing developers to use their own in-app payment systems, and 1 percent for delays in reviewing apps, according to the Korea Communications Commission (KCC).

“It is an important step towards creating a level-playing field for the startup and developer communities. We also hope that it sets the right precedent to be followed in the future by other nations looking to build a competitive app economy,” said Sijo Kuruvilla George, Executive Director, ADIF.

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The South Korean ‘enforcement ordinance’ will be put into effect on March 15.

In India, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has been investigating both Google and Apple for their abuse of power.

“However, the fact that Apple has blatantly ignored the order from Netherlands’ top competition regulator and has instead chosen to pay fines rather than do anything to change its policies, highlights the urgent need and importance of legislative reforms,” said the ADIF.

In August 2021, the South Korean National Assembly amended the Telecommunications Business Act in order to prohibit dominant app store operators from coercing developers to use their proprietary payment systems.

Google and Apple, with a combined market share of 99 percent, currently dominate mobile operating systems and act as gatekeepers to the app ecosystem.

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