By Kwanwoo Jun

 

South Korea's telecom regulator plans to fine Alphabet's Google and Apple a total of $51 million for allegedly abusing their market dominance and breaching the country's mobile-payment regulations.

The Korea Communications Commission said Friday that the U.S. tech giants had forced app developers to use their in-app payment methods rather than external competitors' payment methods.

Google and Apple were also found to have unfairly delayed app reviews to enforce the malpractice, it said.

The commission said Google and Apple would be fined KRW47.6 billion ($35.4 million) and KRW20.5 billion, respectively, for their alleged violations of local fair-trade rules.

South Korea in 2021 enacted new telecom regulations that banned app-store platform operators from abusing their dominant market positions.

Both Google and Apple said Friday that they are abiding by South Korean law.

Google said in a statement that it has worked closely with the KCC since a probe started in August 2022 to explain how it is complying with the new law and to ensure that through its alternative billing, it continues to provide "safe and high-quality" services for all.

"What KCC has shared today is the 'pre-notice' and we will carefully review and submit our response," a Google spokesperson said in the statement.

Apple also said that it disagrees with the conclusions made by the KCC and believes that the changes it has implemented to its App Store comply with the law.

"As we have always done, we will continue to engage with the KCC to share our views," Apple said in a press release.

 

Write to Kwanwoo Jun at kwanwoo.jun@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 06, 2023 05:05 ET (09:05 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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