Repetitive violation of Korea’s ‘in-app’ policy can lead to criminal action on CEO

2021.11.17 14:55:00 | 2021.11.17 14:55:26

[Graphics by Song Ji-yoon]이미지 확대

[Graphics by Song Ji-yoon]

Apple CEO Tim Cook can face criminal charge in South Korea if the U.S. tech giant refuses to comply with the new South Korean act banning multinationals from forcing their in-app payment on Korean app developers.

The Maeil Business Newspaper on Wednesday discovered the Korean government has added new provision to the revised telecommunications business act, enabling authorities to take criminal actions for incompliance to the new order aimed to prohibit abuse of dominant influence to harm domestic app developers.

South Korea in August became the world’s first country to pass a law banning Google and Apple from forcing their exclusive in-app payment system.

The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) unveiled details of the revision on Wednesday including what constitutes an unfair practice and how much it could fine for violations as well as the possibility of criminal charge.

It said it would prohibit the companies from raising fees for app developers who do not follow their in-app billing system and ban discriminative acts. They can be imposed with a fine of up to 2 percent of their sale in Korea for violations.

If deemed “seriously injurious” to the domestic market and repeated without a remedial action, the authority could press charges against the management.

Upon indictment, the court can sentence up to three years in prison or 150 million won in fine when found guilty.

By Lee Jae-cheol and Choi Mira

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]