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January 7, 2013

Taipei to file appeal in Google app refund dispute

Google has also halted the sales of its paid smartphone apps in Taiwan since the dispute.

By CBR Staff Writer

The Taipei city government is planning to appeal a court ruling, which annulled a fine it slapped on Google in a dispute over the search engine company’s mobile phone applications.

In 2011, the government had issued fines of about TWD1m ($34,000) against Google for rejecting to offer customers a seven-day trial period on its mobile phone apps, as per Taiwan’s consumer protection law.

The decision was, however, upheld following Google’s appeal to the economics ministry in 2012. The Taipei High Administrative Court had recently decided to revoke it, adding that the government should not interfere in a dispute between a firm and customers.

Taipei government’s consumer protection division said in a statement that the agency does not wish to see Google exit the Taiwan market but urges Google to respect and protect consumers’ rights.

"We will appeal the court ruling," the agency said.

In 2011, the Taiwanese government alleged that Google and Apple had breached the law and ordered them to modify their trading rules.

Although Apple complied with the law, Google did not.

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As per the terms of service for Google’s Android Market, customers are allowed to a refund only within 15 minutes of buying a product online.

Google has also halted the sales of its paid smartphone apps in Taiwan since the dispute.

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