Sat, Feb 04, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Ministry rules against Google’s app petition

Staff Writer, with CNA

The Ministry of Economic Affairs ruled against a petition seeking to overrule a fine that the Taipei City Government imposed on Google Inc for its refund policy, saying that the penalty was legitimate, the city government said yesterday.

Google failed to revise the standard contract for its Android Market app store to allow a seven-day free trial mechanism, despite being ordered to do so by the city in accordance with the law, the city government’s Law and Regulation Commission said.

Google’s failure to allow a seven-day trial period left consumers who had already paid for mobile apps unable to exercise their rights, the commission said. The ministry therefore dismissed the company’s petition, said Yeh Ching-yuan (葉慶元), director of the commission.

In addition, Google argued in the petition that the company is not liable for apps or smartphone software developed by third parties, even if it is sold through its online platforms.

However, the ministry ruled that Google is subject to the punishment as it is involved in the recruitment of Android Market employees and the management of Android Market’s Taiwanese Web site.

On June 3 last year, the city government ordered the local branches of Apple Inc and Google to add a seven-day free trial mechanism to their mobile phone software stores within 15 days.

While Apple agreed to revise its returns policy, Google insisted on maintaining its original policy that allows users refunds for paid apps within just 15 minutes of purchase.

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