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Rep. Kim Yeung-shik of the ruling People Power Party plans to organize hearings on Google for its controversial in-app payment system.

Lawmakers plan to call Google Korea CEO

South Korean lawmakers are set to hold hearings on Google whose in-app payment system has caused controversies across the country (see the Korea News Plus article on July 6).

Rep. Kim Yeung-shik of the ruling People Power Party made the comments in a recent interview. He is a member of the Science, ICT, Broadcasting and Communications Committee.

Since this April, Google has mandated developers to use its billing system on the Play Store, charging up to 30 percent fees. The tech giant started removing non-compliant apps this month.

In response to the South Korean law, which obliges the introduction of an alternative payment system, Google came up with an option that still levies up to 26 percent fees.

This prompted many Korean developers and streamers to raise their service prices or subscription fees over the past months, leading to nationwide uproars.

“Google is showing how a dominant platform can take advantage of its monopoly position. As you know, the Play Store’s market share is around 75 percent in Korea,” Rep. Kim said.

“As Google sidestepped our law, we plan to hold hearings by calling Google Korea CEO Nancy Mable Walker to the National Assembly. Some opposition party members also showed their consents to the idea.”

Earlier, Rep. Kim estimated that the new Google system would charge an additional 230 billion won ($180 million) to Korean end users every year.

Indeed, Rep. Cho Seoung-lae from the main opposition Democratic Party has criticized Google. He is also a member of the Science, ICT, Broadcasting and Communications Committee.

In a press release, Cho noted, “Google is threatening the ecosystem of the mobile contents.”

“It is trying to make monopolistic profits at the costs of creators and users.”

Comments from Google Korea were not available.

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