It seems that South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission has issued an order for both Google as well as Apple to make changes to their existing policies that concern app store refunds. The Fair Trade Commission has expectations that this particular ruling will be a precedent for other similar cases elsewhere around the globe. Google did announce that the Google Play Store will kick off a refund policy based on the system that is currently in use by its developers, and do take note that this new Google refund rules will be enforced only in South Korea at the moment.
South Korea’s antitrust watchdog said Sunday that it had ordered Google and Apple to revise unfair provisions, including the no-refund policy, in operating their mobile application stores. It is the first time that an antitrust body here has taken corrective action against international app store operators. ‘‘We expect the measure, aimed at protecting consumers, will have a ripple effect on similar cases throughout the world,” the Korea Fair Trade Commission said in a press release. Following the FTC orders, the Google Play webstore will design a customer refund system based on Web developers’ refund polices. Apple’s iTunes app store will have to send a notice to users when it changes the terms in its contract. “The FTC’s corrective orders will become 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. “While Google will limit its response to the FTC to the domestic market, Apple said it would consider applying the revised contract terms globally,” he added.