Google fined KRW 207 billion by South Korean antitrust agency for abusing its dominant market position

Google has been fined KRW 207 billion (around Rs 1,300 crore) by South Korea’s antitrust regulator, saying the US tech giant abused its dominant market position to restrict competition in the mobile operating system market.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has investigated Google for allegedly blocking local smartphone makers from customizing its Android operating system.

The fine is the latest antitrust setback for Google in South Korea. Earlier this month, Parliament passed a bill to ban major app store operators such as Google from forcing software developers to use their payment systems and to prevent developers from charging fees. commissions on in-app purchases.

The KFTC said the fine could be the ninth largest ever imposed.

He said Google hindered market competition by requiring smartphone makers to adhere to an “anti-fragmentation agreement (AFA)” when signing key contracts with Google regarding app licensing.

Under the AFA, device makers weren’t allowed to install modified versions of Android, called “Android forks,” on their devices.

This practice has helped Google cement its dominance in the mobile operating system market, the KFTC said.

Google was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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