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South Korean regulator mulls potential fines on Apple, Google over app market practices

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South Korea’s telecommunications regulator said it is contemplating up to 68B won penalty surcharge and corrective measures for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) unit Google and over unfair practices.

The Korea Communications Commission, or KCC, noted that it is going to impose the corrective measures and penalty surcharges for Google and Apple, following the results of a fact-checking investigation over unfair practices, including forcing specific payment methods of app market operators started Aug. 16, 2022.

“The enforcement of specific payment methods by Google and Apple is a significant concern because it has the potential to undermine the primary goal of the amended act in September 2021, which is to promote fair competition in the app market,” KCC said in a statement on Friday.

In addition, the KCC notified a corrective measure draft for Apple’s discriminatory charging of fees to domestic app developers.

The KCC noted that it will make a final decision on up to 68B won penalty surcharge, including 47.5B won for Google and 20.5B won for Apple, after hearing opinions from business operators on the draft and going through processes, such as deliberation and decision.

“What KCC has shared today is the ‘pre-notice’ and we will carefully review and submit our response. Once the final written decision is shared with us we will carefully review to evaluate the next course of action,” Google said in a statement according to a report from Reuters.

The iPhone maker also made a statement, noting — “We disagree with the conclusions made by the KCC in their Examiner’s Report, and believe the changes we have implemented to the App Store comply with the Telecommunications Business Act. As we have always done, we will continue to engage with the KCC to share our views.”

KCC said that the draft has meaning as it puts strong sanctions on platform giants for abusing their dominant positions, thus leading to a healthy app market environment and contributing to a fair and open mobile ecosystem.

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