An Apple office in Seoul was raided last week by investigators from the Korea Fair Trade Commission, looking into claims Apple charged developers excessive App Store fees, according to local publication Chosun Biz.
Neither Apple nor the commission, known as the KFTC, immediately responded to messages seeking comment.
The report is the latest development in a South Korean crackdown on Apple and Google’s powerful app stores, as Korea’s government aims rein in what some have claimed are the tech giants’ anticompetitive grip over in-app payments. Among the complaints against Apple has been how much of a cut it takes from developers when people buy something with Apple’s own in-app payment system — what is sometimes referred to as an “Apple Tax.” This fee gives Apple up to a 30% cut on subscriptions and in-app purchases.
According to Chosun Biz, a KFTC investigation team visited Apple’s Seoul office in the area of Gangnam-gu to look into claims that Apple recently collected 33% of in-app payment fees — exceeding that 30% level — because of taxes that affect the amount they were charged.
Joan E. Solsman