South Korea passes law addressing a core argument of Epic v. Apple

While Epic Games and Apple have been going at it in US courts, South Korea just passed a law addressing a central grievance in the case.

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In the ongoing case between Epic Games and Apple, it’s hard to say where things will land. While Apple’s rules have been in place on iOS for years, many will agree that Epic has reason to have grievance with Apple’s cut of app sales on its platform, especially when it would appear Apple’s rules can be bent based on backroom deals with large companies. The case of whether or not Apple was right to retaliate against Epic by removing Fortnite from iOS for purposely breaking its rules continues, but South Korea just passed a law that may have major implications on the case on the world stage.

Recently, South Korea’s National Assembly just passed a vote directly relating to alternative payment measures and retaliatory practices, as reported by iMore and Wall Street Journal. Once the new law is signed by President Moon Jae-in, platforms like iOS and Android must allow alternative payment methods outside of their platforms on apps (such as the one Epic included in Fortnite to pretty blatantly goad Apple into a court case).

Once South Korean President Moon Jae-in signs in the new law, Apple and Android will be forced to allow alternative payment methods on apps within the country or risk paying fines on revenue.
Once South Korean President Moon Jae-in signs in the new law, Apple and Android will be forced to allow alternative payment methods on apps within the country or risk paying fines on revenue.

That wasn’t all. The law also includes provisions which protect apps from retaliatory measures by platform companies for including such alternative methods. Failure to comply with the law would result in a company being fined of 3 percent of its revenue in South Korean regional sales and business. That means Apple would have been in direct violation of the law for its decision to remove Fortnite from its App Store for the aforementioned in-game payment method.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney was elated to hear the decision and, never missing a chance to take a shot at Apple, took to Twitter to speak to the matter.

“Korea is first in open platforms!” Sweeney said before once again comparing his company’s court case with Apple to historical events regarding tyranny, this time equating Korea’s law with JFK’s speech at the Berlin Wall in 1963. Epic Games also previously launched a Fortnite trailer parodying Apple’s 1984 ad and Tim Sweeney has compared Epic’s efforts to the Civil Rights Movement, allegedly naming Epic’s plan to legally swing at Apple “Project Liberty.”

These things aside, it will be interesting to see what, if any implications the South Korean law has for Epic Games v. Apple on the worldwide scene. Whether further nations take up similar laws or if the decision is referenced in American courts, we’ll be following closely to see what comes next. Stay tuned here at Shacknews to the Apple vs. Epic topic for further news and updates.

News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. When he's not handing out beatdowns in the latest fighting games, exploring video game history, or playing through RPGs with his partner, he's searching for new food and drinks in the constant pursuit of good times with good people inside and outside the South Texas area. You can also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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