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Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

Lawmakers in South Korea have passed legislation to force Apple and Google to allow rival in-app payment mechanisms within their mobile operating systems.

Why it matters: While the legislation is limited to South Korea, lawmakers and regulators around the globe have also been weighing action on mobile app stores and could seek to force a similar move in other regions.

Driving the news: South Korea is poised to become the first country in the world to force Apple and Google to allow rival in-app payment systems under a law passed Tuesday.

  • Last week, Apple reached a tentative deal to settle a class-action lawsuit from developers. While Apple would make some concessions, the proposed agreement would keep in place the company's ban on rival in-app payment systems and app stores.
  • The same judge who has to approve that settlement is also set to rule shortly on a lawsuit brought by "Fortnite" maker Epic Games against Apple. That suit seeks to force Apple to allow rival payment systems and app stores. Epic also has a pending suit against Google.

The big picture: For both Apple and Google, app store control has meant revenue and power over smartphone software ecosystems, and Apple in particular has argued that its control creates a better experience for users. But governments around the world are beginning to question that argument and define app stores as old-fashioned monopolies.

Go deeper

Apple, TSU to create app mapping Nashville's civil rights history

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photos: Getty Images

Apple is teaming up with Tennessee State University and professor Learotha Williams to create an app showing how the civil rights movement in the Jim Crow South grew out of North Nashville and the city’s HBCUs.

Flashback: John Lewis, James Lawson and Diane Nash are among the civil rights icons who met in Nashville before participating in iconic events like the Freedom Rides, Bloody Sunday and the March on Washington.

How it works: Apple already worked with TSU to expand diversity in coding. Now the company is pairing Williams with developer Marc Aupont and HBCU students from across the country to create the new app.

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.

DOJ sues American Airlines, JetBlue to block "unprecedented" alliance

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Justice Department on Tuesday sued American Airlines and JetBlue to block an "unprecedented series of agreements" that will consolidate the two airlines' operations in Boston and New York City.

Why it matters: The civil antitrust complaint alleges that the planned Northeast Alliance (NEA) "will cause hundreds of millions of dollars in harm to air passengers across the country through higher fares and reduced choice," the DOJ said in a release.

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