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Apple iPads at a store in Seoul, South Korea, in February 2021. Photo: Jean Chung/Bloomberg via Getty Images

South Korean lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday that will prevent Google and Apple from forcing software developers to use their payment systems for in-app purchases, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: The bill, which will become the first law of its kind after it's signed by President Moon Jae-in, threatens to reduce Google and Apple's dominance over app developers and their access to commissions from in-app sales.

  • The legislation also prevents app platforms from unreasonably delaying the approval of apps or deleting them from the store.

The big picture: The bill will likely be cited by lawmakers in the European Union and the U.S. who are also attempting to rein in the major tech companies.

  • The EU's antitrust commission charged Apple with antitrust violations in April after the company required music-streaming apps like Spotify to use its in-app payments system to sell digital content and charged high commission fees.
  • Apple was also recently forced to make concessions to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by U.S.-based developers over key structures of its App Store.
  • A bipartisan trio of U.S. senators unveiled legislation earlier this month that would, like South Korea's legislation, ban app store operators from requiring use of their own in-app payment systems.

Go deeper ... Fall antitrust forecast: Biden raises hammer on Big Tech

Go deeper

Senate eyes tech firms' data troves

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Lawmakers mulling how to tighten antitrust laws' reins over online platforms will grill Google and Facebook Tuesday about a key asset in the digital age: data.

Why it matters: The intersection of data collection and competition policy is a particularly vulnerable point for the tech giants, whose power comes from amassing troves of information about users.

Governments hold upper hand online

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Governments around the world are finding it easier than ever to make the internet, and the companies that run it, knuckle under.

Driving the news: Russia Friday forced Apple and Google to remove an app that supporters of dissident leader Alexei Navalny had created to coordinate opposition votes in Russian elections.

Sep 20, 2021 - World

U.S. condemns Russia's election crackdown as Putin's party wins big majority

Putin speaks to the head of Russia's electoral commission via video link. Photo: Alexey Druzhinin/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department condemned the Russian government's crackdown on opposition groups during this weekend's parliamentary elections, saying in a statement Monday that the vote "took place under conditions not conducive to free and fair proceedings."

Why it matters: President Vladimir Putin's ruling party retained its supermajority through a vote marred by widespread irregularities, reports of ballot-stuffing and restrictions on the Russian strongman's most vocal critics.