Apr 6th, 2022

App developers are in a tough spot right now. Storefronts like the Google Play Store are obviously the best place for developers to distribute Android apps, but at the same time, the ~30% cut that Google takes is quite a hefty sum, especially if an app is raking in millions of dollars.

As a result, some Korean developers have taken to providing links to external payment sites as a way to bypass in-app payments, but Google responded to that by blocking updates and warning them that if they continue to do so, their apps will be removed. But as it turns out, doing that will put Google in violation of South Korean law.

For a bit of context, last year the South Korean government passed a law that would require companies like Apple and Google to accept third-party payment platforms. The idea is that it would essentially prevent these companies from hogging all the profit, and give developers a chance to potentially reduce their fees.

Google seemed fine with the idea, but stated that while they would allow third-party payment providers, they will still take a cut which is reduced by 4%, meaning that if they would normally take a 30% cut, they will now only take 26%, and so on. As a result, developers started to link to outside payment providers, leading us to the situation today.

According to a Google spokesperson, they told the Wall Street Journal that they are reviewing the guidance and will work with local developers to expand their choices.

Source: Engadget

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