Apple and Google ordered to change unfair app store policies


On Sunday, South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission on Sunday ordered both Google and Apple to make changes to their Android and iOS app store policies, to make after-purchase refunding more friendly to consumers.

Under the new terms, Google will need to establish a refund system based on developers’ individual policies, while Apple must send out notifications to App Store users every time the company updates its contract terms and conditions.

“The FTC’s corrective orders will become [a] benchmark cases for other countries, which face growing customer complaints over unfair provisions in contracts of mobile webstore operators,” said Hwang Won-chul, head of the KFTC’s Adhesion Contract Division.

Although Google will currently limit its response to the FTC to just the South Korean market, Apple is said to be looking at rolling the revised contract terms out globally — perhaps anticipating that this will be just step one of a larger change in the way mobile companies currently do business.

The same South Korean consumer group is also pushing Apple to amend its current iPhone repair policies. According to the group, Apple’s current practice of replacing rather than repairing iPhones is unfair to consumers since it means that they cannot get their original handsets back. If this complaint is upheld, this would mark another first in Apple’s global policies.

Source: Korea Herald