Fees for the Google Play Store will jump under new billing rules in South Korea

Seoul, Feb. 16 (IANS) Fees for the Google Play Store could increase by more than $ 136 million in South Korea due to a new billing policy that extends the service fee to all purchases of digital content in the app, the legislator said on Tuesday.

Last September, Google decided to force all app developers in its Play Store to use its billing system, which has been taking a 30 percent commission on digital content purchases since October this year.

The new policy would increase Play Store fees for local developers by as much as $ 156.8 billion ($ 136 million), said Park Sung-Joong, a spokesman for the opposition People Power Party, citing a report from the Ministry of Science and ICT.

Last year, sales from apps on the Google Play Store were estimated at over 5 trillion won, according to a ministry report that surveyed 246 companies that accounted for over 75 percent of mobile app sales in the country during September and October last year.

Fees for applications that would be affected by monetary policy recently reached 287.4 billion won last year, the Yonhap news agency reported.

Among the companies surveyed, 35 percent said they would accept changes to Google’s billing policy, while 29.9 percent said they would raise user fees and 27.1 percent said they would use other app stores.

Google’s move has met with fierce opposition from local developers and lawmakers who claim consumers will end up paying extra fees.

Last year, lawmakers proposed bills banning app market operators from imposing certain payment methods on mobile content transactions to limit Google’s move.

Google said its policy update will not affect most local developers and that the service fee is being used to reinvest in its platform.


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