As regulations against Google are being set up worldwide, the Arizona State House of Representatives recently passed a bill preventing Google and other large platforms from forcing certain payment systems. It is to ban the practice of Google using its monopolistic position in the market to force mobile app developers to use the company’s own payment system and charge 30 percent as payment processing fees. Georgia, Illinois, and Minnesota among others are also considering similar legislation.
Prior to this, Europe has been pursuing a law to prevent the tech giant from using news for free. Google has been under criticism for driving huge traffic with news yet not paying any fees, which prevents the formation of healthy public opinion. With Australia passing a bill last month for the first time in the world to mandate platform companies to pay for using news stories, the European Union, the U.K., and Canada are working to enact a similar law. Google has signed copyright agreements with over 500 media companies in seven countries, including France, Germany, and the U.K. before the law is enforced.
Google’s power tripping has also incurred many complaints in South Korea. The company accounting for 60 percent of the South Korean app market share announced a policy to expand the application of its own payment system previously used only for game apps to all content from October this year. App developers will fall tenants of Google, and app prices will go up. The National Assembly put forward the so-called “anti-Google’s power tripping act,” but it is in a stalemate due to the concerns about potential trade conflicts with the U.S. There is no reason for the South Korean National Assembly to hesitate as states in the U.S. are pursuing a similar law.
The story behind Google’s failure to pay for news in South Korea is rather absurd. According to the Act on the Promotion of Newspapers, etc., only the platforms registered as online news service providers in the regions of their headquarters, such as Naver or Daum, can be charged for using news. Google is considered an exception as the company’s headquarter is in the U.S. even though it applied for service provider registration in Seoul in 2019. In a world where news stories can be distributed across borders, the location of a headquarter should not matter. It is an important task to ensure fair payment for high-quality news when fake news is rampant. The outdated Act on the Promotion of Newspapers, etc. should be immediately revised to make sure that the South Korean media fall easy prey to Google.