South Korea Slaps Google with $177m Fine

Google was fined $177 million by a South Korean antitrust regulator for prohibiting customised versions of the Android operating system.

In South Korea, Google has been hit with a substantial financial penalty for its dominance in the mobile operating system market.

According to Reuters, South Korea’s antitrust authority, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), levied a punishment of 207 billion won ($176.64 million).

Google has restricted customised versions of its Android operating system, which has angered the regulator (OS)

The Korean Fair-Trade Commission (KFTC) reportedly announced on Tuesday that Google’s contract terms with device makers amounted to an abuse of its dominating market position, limiting competition in the mobile OS industry.

Google, on the other hand, is apparently planning to appeal the verdict, claiming that the fine ignores the benefits of Android’s compatibility with other programmes and damages user benefits.

In a statement, KFTC Chairperson Joh Sung-wook said, “The Korea Fair Trade Commission’s ruling is noteworthy in that it provides an opportunity to restore future competitive pressure in the mobile OS and app market marketplaces.”

What is the anti-Google legislation in South Korea?

South Korea’s parliament enacted a bill in late August to limit Google and Apple’s market domination.

It makes it illegal for large app store operators like Google and Apple to force software developers to utilise their payment methods.

This effectively prevents in-app purchase commissions from being charged by app store owners like Google and Apple.

Google will no longer be able to force device manufacturers to sign AFA contracts, allowing them to use modified versions of Android OS on their devices.

According to the KFTC, the US-based company prevented local smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics Co and LG from utilising competing operating systems.


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