It seems South Korea is now making Google and Apple clean up their application store acts. Its Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) , an antitrust watchdog, has ordered both companies to make changes in the way they sell their apps. This is, according to the Korean Herald, the first time an antitrust body has taken action against international app store operators.
The organisation said in a press release it fully expected the consumer-protecting measure to have a ripple effect throughout the world. Good news for the rest of us folks, especially those who have brought apps only to find they didn't live up to what was promised. Sure, free versions of an app that allow in-app upgrades are one way to try before you buy but it's different from actual refunds.
Is being able to give apps back a good thing?
Google Play is apparently going to create a customer refund system while Apple's iTunes app store will now send a notice to users when a term in its contract is changed.
Apparently Google is limiting its changes to South Korea but Apple might apply the change to its global consumers.
The move to censure the app stores was apparently driven by requests from an NGO, Citizens' Coalition for Economic Justice that asked the KFTC to correct practises of domestic and foreign mobile app stores that were unfair. Besides Apple and Google, local Korean companies like LG Electronics and LG Uplus are also being asked to correct 'unfair business terms'.
Another complaint that the KFTC is looking into is about consumers not getting their original iPhones back from repair. The KFTC is investigating to see if this is unfair.
Why is this a big deal? Well, this might be a gift for Android developers who are having trouble getting people to buy apps in the first place. Knowing you can return them is an incentive but, well, iOS never had that problem.
For those who hate spending money on apps in the first place, here are some of our lists for the best free or totally-worth-your-money apps:
[Source: Korea Herald}