Epic, the Spotify support bill designed to curb app store operators

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A group of US-based companies including Epic Games and Spotify, which opposed the commissions that big app stores collect from developers, on Tuesday expressed support for the legislative movement in South Korea to adopt a bill to reduce taxes on app stores. .

The bill aims to prohibit operators of the application market from imposing certain payment systems on developers by unfairly using their position.

The bill, which would be the first of its kind in the world if passed, is currently awaiting further consideration by the Legislative and Judicial Commission before being put to a broader vote by the National Assembly.

Mark Buse, senior vice president of Match Group and founding member of the Coalition for App Fairness, has met with ruling Democratic Party lawmakers in the National Assembly to support the bill, the Yonhap news agency reports.

The US-based group is made up of major tech companies, including video game maker “Fortnite” Epic Games, music streaming giant Spotify Technology, and owner of dating app Tinder Match Group.

Buse has voiced his support for the bill, adding that it could push US lawmakers more to act. A similar move has so far been made at the state level in the United States in about 15 states, according to Buse.

The legislative move in South Korea comes after Google’s decision last September to apply its billing system to all Play Store apps from October this year – a move that restricts other payment systems and will charge up to 30% developer commission for users’ purchases of digital goods, similar to what Apple already does on its App Store.

The app developers, who bypassed Google’s commission by using its own payment systems, have expressed concerns over what they see as excessive fees and a monopoly move by Google, prompting local tech groups to do so. pressure for legislative action to counter the tech giant.

Amid an outcry from local developers, Google has pushed back the application of its new billing policy to the end of March next year for developers asking for a delay.

Google has raised concerns in response to the legislative movement.

The U.S. tech giant’s senior director of public policy, Wilson White, said in a recent interview with a local newspaper that users who don’t use its payment system could be exposed to security concerns, calling for more discussions to resolve them.

Apple expressed similar concerns, saying the proposed changes could put users at risk of fraud and other privacy concerns in a statement after the bill was approved by the ICT committee last month.

The legislative movement has added to the pressure that tech giants face at home.

Last month, 36 U.S. states filed a lawsuit against Google, alleging anti-competitive behavior in its Play store operations to collect and maintain its commission.

Apple and Google are both locked in legal disputes with Epic Games over operations in the app market.


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