Last June, the city of Taipei in Taiwan issued a complaint to several companies contending that they weren't in compliance with a local law that entitles users to a seven-day trial period, during which a user could request a refund. Apple responded by amending its App Store policy allowing customers in Taiwan to get a refund on any app within seven days of purchase. Microsoft did the same with Xbox Live. Google responded by refusing to alter its 15-minute refund window and ceasing to offer paid apps in the country.
Enter, as they do, the courts. Google was fined NT$1 million (the equivalent of only around $34,000 US) and the appeals process began. It finally ended, yesterday, with Google losing its final appeal. The Taipei city government issued a statement, saying "We urge Google to respect Taiwan's laws and the rights of our consumers to resume sales of its Android Market paid apps." There's no word yet on how Google will react to the ruling, but somehow we're betting that it won't feel especially stung by the fine. Google is also not afraid to limit access to paid apps to large customer bases, having previously denied South Koreans the ability to purchase games because of a local law.