Conflict between Apple and Google in Seoul put Biden to the test in Washington

Conflict between Apple and Google in Seoul put Biden to the test in Washington. A proposal in South Korea’s parliament is an early indication of how aggressive the Biden regime will be to protect companies overseas while trying to limit their influence at home. South Korea National Convention in Seoul. In October, lawmakers proposed legislation that would prevent app stores from forcing advertisers to use their payment method. South Korea National Convention in Seoul. In October, lawmakers proposed legislation that would prevent app stores from forcing advertisers to use their payment method. Credit… Agence France-Presse / Ed Jones

South Korea National Convention in Seoul. In October, lawmakers proposed legislation that would prevent app stores from forcing advertisers to use their payment method. South Korea National Convention in Seoul. In October, lawmakers proposed legislation that would prevent app stores from forcing advertisers to use their payment method. Credit… Agence France-Presse / Ed Jones ibit app stores to force developers on their payment system. South Korea National Convention in Seoul. Lawmakers proposed legislation in October that would bar app stores from forcing advertisers on their payment system. Credit… Ed Jones / Agence France-Presse.

WASHINGTON – For months, Apple and Google have been fighting over a bill in South Korea’s legislature that they say could damage lucrative app store business. The companies have appealed directly to South Korean lawmakers, government officials and the general public to try to overturn the law, which they hope will face a major vote this week. The companies also turned into an impossible friend, one who was also trying to destroy their power: the US government. A group funded by companies has urged business people in Washington to push for the law, arguing that targeting U.S. companies could violate a common trade agreement.

South Korea will be the first law in the world to require companies operating app stores to allow users to pay for in-app purchases using multiple payment systems. It will also prevent advertisers from listing their products on other app stores. How did the White House respond to this proposal early on for Biden control: Will it protect technology companies facing antitrust overseas while applying the same test to companies at home?

Washington has a long history of violating foreign laws that discriminate against American companies, sometimes even while doing so controversial with domestic policy debates. But President Biden wants a more balanced approach to his concerns about the incredible power of technology giants on business, communications and news. In July he signed an executive order to spur competition in the industry, and his top two antitrust appointees have long been vocal critics of the company.

The approach chosen by the White House could have widespread patents for the company, as well as for the design of the internet around the world. A growing number of countries are pursuing strict regulations on Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, sharing the rules of the internet. U.S. government officials have voiced some industry concerns about the proposal, saying in a March report it appeared to target U.S. companies. But trade officials have not yet taken a stand on it, said Adam Hodge, a spokesman for the U.S. Commerce Department. He said workers are also planning to balance the claim that the law discriminates against American companies with the belief among technology critics in South Korea and the United States that the law will level the playing field.

“We are working with many stakeholders to compile facts as per the law in Korea, recognizing the need to differentiate between discrimination against American companies and promoting competition,” Mr Hodge said in a statement. Apple says it regularly interacts with the U.S. government on a number of topics. During those interactions he discussed South Korea’s hardware store law with U.S. government officials, including at the U.S. Police Department in Seoul, the company said in a statement.

The company said the law would “put consumers who buy digital products from other sources at risk of fraud, compromise their privacy, make it difficult to manage their purchases” and risk parental controls.

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