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South Korean FTC Unimpressed With Google

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Even though Google has been drawing more Korean users to its search and Gmail services, the company still has work to do to make the local government happy with its AdSense practices.

Some of the more aggressive terms of service in Google AdSense will be toned down in South Korea. That country’s Fair Trade Commission considered some of the provisions in Google’s contracts unfair, and in violation of fair trade laws.

Korea’s Yonhap News reported on several changes Google will have to make. Google’s local office in the country intends to revise the offending clauses, according to the agency.

The adjudication of disputes in Google’s home of Santa Clara County, California, caught the FTC’s attention. They do not believe jurisdiction over settling AdSense disputes in Korea should be compelled to take place outside the country.

Other clauses will have to be adjusted to satisfy regulators. One allows Google to kick out current AdSense participants at any time, at Google’s discretion.

A couple of clauses regarding the compensation side also need tweaking to comply with the FTC. From the report:

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 Goggle,” when calculating payments.

South Korea’s market has been a tough nut for Google to crack. Only recently have they managed to start gaining users for search and Gmail.

The country’s heavily Internet connected population, and a forecasted $1 billion online ad market in 2007, makes South Korea an important place for Google to succeed internationally. Their agreement to update AdSense terms shows how much value they place in their ability to compete in Korea.


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