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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

First look: Inside The New York Times' audio app

Via New York Times

The New York Times on Tuesday will open up its new audio app to beta testers ahead of a public launch next year.

Why it matters: The Times has built an audio empire, acquiring audio companies and investing heavily in new podcasts. But they're mostly distributed on apps like Apple and Spotify, limiting the ways The Times can experiment with new audio features for journalism.

Dec 8, 2021 - Technology

Roku, Google settle messy battle over YouTube distribution

Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Roku and Google have agreed to a multi-year extension for both YouTube and YouTube TV apps to be distributed on Roku.

Why it matters: Roku's deal with Google to distribute YouTube was set to expire this month. Without a deal, YouTube would've been removed from Roku's channel store, creating a big competitive disadvantage, especially during the holiday season.

Why 401(k) rollovers are so annoying

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If you happened to change jobs recently, you may have tried to transfer your retirement account from your former employer into an Individual Retirement Account or your new employer's 401(k) plan. If so, you probably encountered a bureaucratic gantlet — and you're not alone.

Why it matters: Kludgey processes around retirement account transfers result in people losing track of their funds, giving up important tax advantages, or otherwise disadvantaging themselves and being less prepared for retirement.