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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

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Dec 9, 2021 - Economy & Business

Apple spearheads era of the mega-caps

Data: YCharts; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Amazon have between them gained $5.5 trillion of value since their March 2020 lows.

Zoom in: Apple alone has risen in value by an astonishing $1.85 trillion in just 433 trading sessions — an average increase of well over $4 billion per day.

  • In just 118 days between May 6 and September 1 last year, Apple increased its valuation by $1 trillion.
  • Before 2018, no company had ever even been worth $1 trillion. Now, Apple will be worth more than $3.3 trillion if it rises from its current level of $175 and hits Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty's target of $200 per share.
Updated 33 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Swastikas found outside Union Station in D.C.

People walk through Union Station on Jan. 16 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Drawings of swastikas appeared etched around the entrance to Union Station in Washington, D.C., on Friday morning.

Driving the news: "An investigation is underway with Amtrak Police and the Metropolitan Police Department after swastikas were reported on the exterior of Washington Union Station on Friday," Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said in a statement to Axios.

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