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Apple, Google Mobile Dominance Faces Tough Test in South Korea

  • New law will mandate free choice of app payment providers
  • Silicon Valley giants argue privacy, security under threat
General Views of Seoul Ahead of South Korea's GDP Announcement
Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg
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South Korea is expected to become the first country to pass a law ending Apple and Google’s domination of payments on their mobile platforms, setting a potentially radical precedent for their lucrative app store operations everywhere from India to the U.S.

Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, the effective duopoly controlling most of the world’s smartphones, face a raft of legislative measures in the U.S. rebuking their “gatekeeper control” and urging a curb on their power to dictate terms on app marketplaces. Both charge a fee of typically 30% on purchases made through their stores and exclude alternative payment handlers, arguing this protects users from fraud and privacy invasion.