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Monday, February 26th, 2007

South Korea's FTC Forces Changes at Google

 

South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission has ordered Google to change the wording of Adsense contracts to comply with domestic fair trade law. Here is a snippet from the YONHAP News article that broke this news and handily describes some of the more crucial issues:

The FTC highlighted several clauses in the AdSense contract that violate domestic fair trade laws, of which one provision allowed Goggle to “reserve the right to refuse participation to any… participant at any time in its sole discretion.”

It also pointed towards an unfair clause, which said that “Google makes no guarantee regarding… the amount of any payment to be made.”

Concerning revenue division, FTC noted the disadvantage towards website operators, as one clause stipulates that “no other measurements or statistics of any kind shall be accepted by Google,” when calculating payments.

In addition the Korean FTC is forcing Google to switch the jurisdiction for all legal complaints from California to a location within South Korea.

How Will Google React?
The online market in South Korea is booming so there is little doubt Google will be as accommodating as possible with all of the issues raised. Still I have to wonder what will happen if they get stuck on an issue that can be chalked up to a cultural difference in conducting business. After all, how can Google guarantee payments?

Is Adsense as we know it going to prove compatible with the South Korean marketplace, or will it need a complete overhaul? I am very interested to see what happens next.


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