Is Google ripping off Korean developers? A new report from a Korean business site states that Google is drawing strong opposition from local software and application developers by charging excessive fees for the use of Google Maps. It is said that the company is engaged in sales activities without disclosing the international billing criteria to Korean firms.
According to industry sources, the Korean report notes that "local developers using Google Maps for commercial purposes are required to pay US $18,800 (20 million won) a day, on an Application Programming Interface (API) basis, for 25,000 to one million page views. When the number of page views exceeds one million, an additional contract has to be made for another one million views regardless of the actual amount of use.
This is imposing a great burden on small firms with limited financial resources. Besides, the one million page views is a quantity that can be consumed within 24 hours, which means many small developers are paying over 20 million won for Google Maps each day. On a yearly basis, the payment amounts to tens of billions of won.
The report ends by quoting a local application developer as saying that "It is totally unacceptable that a company does not reveal the price while selling a product. Different billing criteria applied in and out Korea constitutes an act of discrimination against Korean companies."