Google has banned South Korean developers from updating their apps containing links to third-party payment methods under the threat of delisting. This move, however, would breach the so-called “Anti-Google law.”
The new rules apply to mobile apps, which contain links to third-party payment services and websites. Developers used this practice known as “outlinking” to bypass Google’s fees and offer users an option to make purchases outside the Play Store.
According to The Wall Street Journal, developers from South Korea can no longer update apps containing such links starting this month. If they don’t follow the rules, Google might remove these products from the store by June 1.
Following the news, the Korea Communications Commission stated that forcing developers to use a specific payment method and making it impossible to offer alternative options would breach the country’s app-payment law.
In August 2021, South Korea passed the so-called “Anti-Google law” to prevent platform holders from dictating payment terms and end their domination in the market. Despite Apple’s and Google’s concerns, the country obligated the companies to allow third-party payment methods outside their storefronts, where they charge commissions of up to 30% on every transaction.
Both Apple and Google eventually promised to comply with the law. Google, however, noted that it would still charge fees, reducing them only by 4% for third-party payment methods.
On April 5, the Korea Communications Commission said that it can conduct preliminary status inspections if Google sticks with its decision to delist apps practicing outlinking. As a result, the company might face a fine of up to 2% of its revenue in South Korea.