Google loses Taiwan appeal over app refund

Internet giant loses appeal against Taipei city government to overturn US$33,800 fine related to Google's app refund policy.

Google has lost an appeal against the Taipei city government over a fine imposed on the Internet giant for its app refund policy, according to reports.

Taipei city government said the Ministry of Economic Affairs ruled in its favor and upheld the NT$1 million (US$33,800) fine imposed on Google in June last year, Focus Taiwan News Channel reported last week.

Following the appeal, the Taipei government urged Google to "respect Taiwan's laws and rights of [the] consumers to resume sales of its Android Market paid apps", according to an AFP report.

The U.S. Internet company last year was fined for not changing its app refund policy from 15 minutes to 7 days, as required under the Taiwan consumer protection act. The regulation states that consumers are entitled to return products they have bought online within seven days of purchase and be refunded if they are dissatisfied, or if the goods are faulty, said the report.

According to Focus Taiwan News Channel, Apple had complied with the Taipei's request to include a seven-day free trial on its App Store. Google did not, arguing that it was not liable for apps built by third-party developers even if these were sold on its appstore. It later blocked the sale of paid apps on the Taiwan Android market after the city government imposed the fine.