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Apple, Google no longer in power as fairness is brought to digital economy



South Korea is the first country to challenge app store payment policies, with a new bill introduced to support content developers.

South Korea challenges app and play store policies.

Google and Apple are now facing criticism for their app store and payment policies across the Asia Pacific.

Currently, app developers are forced to use the proprietary billing systems of the respective tech giants’, however South Korea is challenging this rule.

Under a new bill passed on Tuesday by South Korean parliament, app makers can use external companies to process payments on their apps in Google Play and Apple’s App store.

The country will be the first to challenge Google and Apple’s payment policies, once the bill is signed by President Moon Jae-in.

This comes a week after Apple said it would allow App Store developers to promote alternative payment methods to their user.

Current policies “unfair”

Critics said the current Google and Apple payment legislations were unfair, as the monopolies were entitled to a 30 percent commission.

They also said, developers were left with little choice and had to coincide with the conditions or face not receiving payment and delayed app reviews.

Meghan DiMuzio, the head of the Coalition for App Fairness, welcomes the bill coined the “Google power-abuse-prevention law” with open arms.

“[The law] is a significant development in the global fight to bring fairness to the digital economy,” DiMuzio says.

Apple and Google react

However, in response to the bill, Apple says choice of third-party payment systems may put users at risk of exposure to fraud.

“Users who purchase digital goods…undermine their privacy protections, make it difficult to manage their purchases and features like ‘Ask to Buy’ and Parental Controls will become less effective,” an Apple spokesperson says.

Google also commented on the bill saying its payment system is what helps keep its service fee “free”.

“We’ll reflect on how to comply with this law while maintaining a model that supports a high-quality operating system and app store, and we will share more in the coming weeks.”

Australia follows suit

Australia is also ramping up the pressure by floating reforms for how to tackle payment systems provided by Apple and Google.

Apple’s commissions, can go as high as 30 percent on some purchases made through the company’s platform, with some companies saying they have little choice to comply.

Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has called for new regulations on digital payments.

“Ultimately, if we do nothing to reform the current framework, it will be Silicon Valley alone that determines the future of our payments system.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, the Australian Financial Review newspaper.

The Australian government is considering designating tech companies as payment providers while establishing a strategic plan between the government and the industry.

As a result, an integrated licensing framework will be developed for payment systems.

Written by Rebecca Borg


TikTok’s parent company loses $7bn



TikTok’s Parent company sees losses grow as it tries to outplay Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, has experienced a loss of more than $7 billion dollars in operating costs, tripling last year’s records.

The company attributes the huge loss to its massive investment in global growth. It detailed the results in a financial report which was provided to internal stakeholders.

In the first quarter of 2022, the company recorded a profit in its operating costs, with the company’s revenue expanding by more than 80% to $61.7 billion in 2021.

But expenses that are focused on expanding its products worldwide continue to swell at a rapid rate.

While TikTok is one of ByteDance’s most successful and well-known products, the company owns a wide range of digital platforms including: Douyin, Toutiao, Vigo Video, Helo, Lark and BytePlus. In total, it attracts hundreds of millions of users in China alone and 1 billion TikTok users worldwide.

The internal report was emailed to all ByteDance’s 130,000 employees. In a note of assurance, company execs “remain confident in the strength of our business and organisation.”

The ability for ByteDance to continue to invest in the company’s growth is clearly a strong advantage the company has over its competitors in the market.

A new report found Australians spent more time on TikTok in the last 12 months than on Facebook, a leader for many years in the space.

With other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube scrambling to compete with TikTok, it seems ByteDance must have a long-term expansion strategy in mind.

The company is evidently trying to arrive at a place where such massive losses relating to operating will be a distant memory.

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Australian government will temporarily change telco laws amid Optus data breach



Australians impacted by the Optus data breach are set to be given greater protection as authorities scramble to protect the personal information that was leaked online

Today, the Australian federal government has announced it will temporarily change the country’s telecommunication laws, paving the way for Optus to share sensitive data.

The move will see the divers licenses, alongside Medicare and passport numbers of impacted customers provided to financial institutions.

Allowing enhanced monitoring for those who were compromised in the cyberattack.

Optus will be working hand-in-hand with banks to monitor fraudulent activity, hopefully avoiding any breaches.

The government says all of the personal information must be immediately destroyed once it is no longer deemed necessary.

When announcing the changes, Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said financial institutions have been proactive throughout this process – but elements of the Optus response have previously been criticised.

The breach affected nearly 10 million customers and former customers, sending the country into a panic.

Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers says this latest move is designed to help keep impacted residents safe from cyber crime.

This unprecedented move now sits with the Governor General who is required to give final approval.

Australians are told the regulations will remain in place for a period of 12 months.

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Another twist in the Musk and Twitter deal



The trial between Twitter and Elon Musk is still set to go ahead

The trial between Twitter and Elon Musk is set to go ahead, in a strange series of events. This comes despite Musk’s recent change of heart over the deal to buy the social media platform

Delaware Court judge Kathaleen McCormick says neither party has applied for a “stay” in the action. Now, proceedings are still due to begin on October 17.

This comes a day Musk performed a U-turn, deciding to go ahead with the multi-billion dollar deal to buy the social media giant.

Musk’s lawyer says his client has “reconsidered his position” and is now “committed to completing the transaction.”

The transaction values Twitter at $54.20 per share, bringing the total sale price to around 44 billion.

The trial was scheduled to run over five days with Twitter arguing the Tesla CEO should be required to complete the transaction.

Musk launched a counterclaim, alleging the company suffered a substantial reduction in its value, rendering the deal invalid.

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