UPDATE: It’s not just South Korea. This is happening worldwide. –Paul
Google will reduce its fees to mobile app developers from 30 percent to 15 percent, but just in South Korea, at least for now.
The Yonhap News Agency first reported the news, noting that the change is in response to an inquiry in that country after developers complained about the exorbitant fees. Rather than fight a proposed new law that would app market operators from imposing certain conditions related to mobile content transactions, Google has simply caved.
“We will do our best so that South Korean developers can provide their products and services to over 1 billion users from some 300 countries around the world and achieve success in the global market,” a Google statement. The policy change takes place this July.
If this change sounds familiar, that’s because it’s clearly modeled on what Apple did last summer, when it revealed that it, too, would reduce its app store fees for developers. That is, the change only applies to those developers who earn less than $1 million per year through the app store, which is most of them. Apple’s change also came about because of regulatory pressure, but it has since been implemented worldwide.
But Google, like Apple, isn’t changing its requirement that app developers use only its payment system. So it’s likely that we’ll still see this company in court in the near future unless it backtracks on that as well.
The Google Play Store accounted for 75 percent of South Korea’s mobile app sales last year, generating over $4.4 billion.