South Korea's antitrust regulator said on Tuesday it has decided to fine Google 207.4 billion won ($1768 million) for alleged abuse of market dominance in the mobile operating system and app market. In Indian currency, this amount is equal to about 13.02 billion rupees. At the same time, Google has objected to this and said that it will challenge this fine. Google accuses South Korea of defamation.
Google alleges that South Korea has ignored how its software policy benefits hardware partners and consumers. Meanwhile, South Korea has begun enforcement of the amended telecommunications law. The law prohibits app market operators such as Google and Apple from collecting payments from users for in-app purchase mechanisms. South Korea is the first country to adopt such regulations.
It is noteworthy that the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has been investigating the allegations against Google since 2016. Google is accused of preventing local smartphone makers such as Samsung from using operating systems developed by rivals. According to the regulator, Google forced smartphone makers to enter into an Anti-Fragmentation Agreement (AFA) during the contract with them to influence competition in the market.
Google Korea also ordered to take corrective steps
Under the AFA, mobile manufacturers are not allowed to install modified Android operating systems, also known as Android forks. They are not even allowed to develop their own Android forks. According to the regulator, while Google's maneuver has strengthened its market penetration, it has not been able to innovate in the development of new operating systems for smart devices. In addition to fines, KFTC has also ordered Google LLC, Google Asia Pacific and Google Korea to take corrective steps, Yonhap news agency reported.