Only a couple of weeks after the South Korean government passed a bill that will force Google (and Apple) to allow app developers to receive payments via third-party systems, the country's regulator has dealt another huge blow to the Mountain View company. The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has announced that it's fining Google's parent company Alphabet the modest sum of $177 million for abusing its dominance in the smartphone OS market.
Last week's ruling in Epic Games v. Apple which basically allowed app developers to direct customers away from the App Store payment platform for in-app transactions was praised and panned across the spectrum. But in the view of Epic, it did not go far enough in stopping what it alleges to be Apple's harmful practices on its iOS app distribution monopoly. So it went on Sunday as the gaming giant filed an appeal.
Apple probably knew what was coming down the pike when it decided last week to allow app developers to communicate to customers ways to conduct in-app transactions that circumvent the App Store and its 30% commission fee. But it looks like the skids are coming on anyway as the most prominent lawsuit over the iPhone maker's alleged monopoly on iOS app sales takes a final, major turn.
Fake reviews are a real problem in online commerce. If you're trying to shop for a new gadget, you're bound to look at customer feedback to see the real pros and cons of real-world owners. A month after cracking down on fake reviews from Aukey, Amazon has returned to continue cleaning out its storefront. This time, RavPower, TaoTronics, and dashcam company Vava have all found themselves in the hot seat, as all three companies have disappeared from the world's largest marketplace.
You may have heard that Sonos and Google are involved in a dispute over patent infringement in the US, with Sonos claiming that the search company used its power to steal intellectual property when they first partnered up. The legal debate isn't limited by borders, though. Sonos also brought Google to court in Germany, where it has managed to enforce a preliminary sales ban of a whole bunch of Google products using the Cast protocol.
Aukey is among our favorite brands when it comes to affordable and powerful chargers, but some evidence is mounting that legitimate reviews might not be enough for the company. A 7GB data leak on an unsecured Chinese server (spotted by SafetyDetectives) exposed a number of Amazon sellers offering customers free products in exchange for favorable reviews, and it looks like Aukey is one of the companies caught in the middle of this scheme. Amazon has taken action and removed almost all products sold by the company.
The legal conflict between Epic Games and Apple has already had some fairly substantial fallout. The court of public opinion pressed Apple and Google to reduce marketplace fees for developers on the App Store and Play Store, and a number of Apple's antics have fallen under the scrutiny of politicians and the general public. The hearing also shined light on iMessage's Apple exclusivity, with the company admitting that it kept the messaging platform from Android in order to create a lock-in effect. But apparently that stance wasn't shared with everyone across the board.
The 90-day deadline imposed upon TikTok owner ByteDance to sell its US assets was up on Thursday, November 12, but the company said it's received no feedback from the US administration committee overseeing the proposed deal in the past two months. ByteDance has therefore applied for a 30-day extension and filed a US Court of Appeals petition seeking clarity on the matter. And finally, the Commerce Department has answered, saying that it wouldn't enforce its order yet.