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A telecommunications regulator from South Korea is accusing Apple and Google of using their powers to abuse developers. The watchdog is now considering fining the companies a total of $50.5 million.

According to Reuters, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) claimed that the two giants pushed the developers to use specific payment methods, causing “unfair delay in app review.”

Although an estimate of over $50 million is already expected for the possible fines, KCC said that it would still discuss it and that the companies would be given a chance to take corrective actions. Yet, in case the regulator pushes for the fines, Google could pay $35.2 million and Apple $15.2 million.

KCC’s argument originates from the amendment the country introduced to its Telecommunication Business Act, which should prevent app store owners from pushing developers to use their payment systems. The regulator specifically called out Apple, saying its “discriminatory charging of fees to domestic app developers” disregards the law’s objectives for healthy market competition.

The two companies are the two top players in the mobile operating system market in South Korea. According to the latest data from StatCounter, Google’s Android system owns a 71.49% share, while Apple has 28.2%. This allows the two to easily offer current customers their own app store platforms. For developers, however, this means the App Store and Play Store are the only two main platforms enticing enough to publish their work, forcing them to comply with the giants’ application store policies.

This issue, nonetheless, is not new. South Korea is not the first to accuse the two companies of problems involving their platforms. For instance, developers in the UK slapped Apple with a lawsuit in July due to its commission fees. Google was also accused of monopoly and overcharging customers in the US, but the class action lawsuit was later tentatively settled.


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