On Wednesday, a parliamentary committee in South Korea voted to recommend amending a law – a key step in banning Google and Apple from forcibly charging software developers commissions on in-app purchases.
The development marks the first such step by a major economy.
The amendment will come to a final vote in parliament.
Both US tech giants have faced global criticism from their requirements for software developers using their app stores to use proprietary payment systems that charge commissions of up to 30%.
In a statement Apple said, the bill “will put users who purchase digital goods from other sources at risk of fraud, undermine their privacy protections”, and hurt user trust in App Store purchases and lead to fewer opportunities for South Korean developers.
In a statemen Wilson White, senior director of public policy at Google, said “the rushed process hasn’t allowed for enough analysis of the negative impact of this legislation on Korean consumers and app developers”.
According to legal experts, app store operators could work with developers and other companies to create secure payment methods other than the ones they provide.
“Google and Apple aren’t the only ones that can create a secure payment system,” said Lee Hwang, a Korea University School of Law professor specialising in competition law. “I think it’s a problem to try to inspire excessive fear by talking about safety or security about using different payment methods.”