South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) kicked off an investigation focusing on the state of competition in the app store and mobile OS markets, targeting Google for taking advantage of what it branded a dominant market position, The Korea Herald reported.
The move follows a push by Google for developers to use its in-app payment system, from which it takes a 30 per cent cut. Developers strongly oppose the requirement.
FTC chair Joh Sung-wook said the agency believes the controversy over the app market fee comes from a lack of competition, noting it is closely monitoring how the new charge impacts this and consumer welfare, the newspaper stated.
Although Joh didn’t reveal company names, the probe appears to have Google in its sights: Play Store sales accounted for 63.4 per cent of total app market revenue in Korea in 2019, while the Android OS had a market share of more than 70 per cent in the country, The Korea Herald wrote.
Joh said the FTC will gather input from experts and work closely with the Korea Communications Commission and the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Apple is awaiting a decision on a settlement offer made following an FTC probe into its apps and device businesses, which could cost the company up to KRW100 billion ($84.2 million).Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back