South Korean antitrust regulator fines Google $177M for abusing market dominance – TechCrunch

Posted on

The Korea Truthful Commerce Fee (KFTC) said on Tuesday it fined Google $177 million for abusing its market dominance within the Android working system (OS) market.

The U.S. tech firm has restricted market competitors by prohibiting native smartphone makers like Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics from customizing their Android OS, by means of Google’s anti-fragmentation agreements (AFA), in accordance with the antitrust regulator assertion.

Below the AFA, smartphone builders will not be allowed to install or develop “Android forks”, modified variations of Android.

The KFTC banned Google LLC, Google Asia Pacific and Google Korea from imposing native smartphone builders to signal the AFA and make adjustments on particulars in regards to the present version. The new measure in South Korea will likely be utilized to not solely mobiles units but in addition different Android-powered smart units together with watches and TVs.

Android has spurred innovation amongst Korean mobile operator homeowners and software builders and that has led to a greater person expertise for Korean shoppers, Google mentioned in its assertion. “The KFTC’s resolution launched at present ignores these advantages, and can undermine the benefits loved by shoppers. Google intends to enchantment the KFTC’s resolution,” a spokesperson at Google mentioned.

The fee has been investigating Google over the anti-competition observe in OS market since July 2016, a spokesperson at KFTC mentioned.

Google’s international mobile OS market share excluding China has been elevated to 97.7% in 2019 from 38% in 2010, as per KFTC’s announcement.

Google’s AFA has additionally restricted to launch tech firms’ new units like smart watches and TVs utilizing the working system (OS) together with Samsung’s smart watch in 2013, LG Electronics’ LTE smart speaker in 2018 in addition to Amazon’s smart TV in 2018.

South Korea’s watchdog is probing into three different circumstances together with the Play Retailer app market, billing system and the commercial market.

In the meantime, South Korea’s “anti-Google legislation”, takes effect on 14 September, based on Korea Communications Commission’s press release.

In late August, South Korea passed a bill to curb international tech firms together with Google and Apple from imposing their very own proprietary in-app fee service and commissions on app builders.

Source : TechCrunch