(Bloomberg)-South Korea penalizes Alphabet Inc.’s Google for $ 177 million for disrupting the development of its Android operating system rivals, launching a campaign aimed at the US search giant’s dominance in smartphone software I continued.
Regulators have accused Google, whose mobile operating system powers more than 80% of smartphones around the world, using its immense bargaining power to put pressure on competition. The Korea Fair Trade Commission is Samsung Electronics Co. Google’s Anti-Fragmentation Agreement (AFA) with manufacturers such as LG Electronics Inc. and LG Electronics Inc. has prevented gadget makers from developing or using modified versions of the Android OS. Watchdog has banned Google from forcing manufacturers to sign AFA contracts and ordered them to modify existing contracts.
South Korea became the first country to pass a law requiring Apple Inc. and Google to open app stores to external payment systems in August, with the potential for profitable businesses from India to the United States. Set a radical precedent in. The bill will come into effect on September 14. , The Korea Communications Commission said in a statement. The 207.4 billion won fine on Tuesday is one of the highest fines in the country for abuse of market power, and only Qualcomm’s mobile chipsets are subject to higher sanctions.
Google said Android will accelerate innovation, including Korean companies, improve the user experience and appeal to decisions. The company said in a statement that the KFTC decision announced today ignores these benefits and undermines the benefits consumers enjoy.
Read more: Google, Apple forced to open app store payments by South Korea
KFTC’s new workaround aims to drive competition by allowing companies to create so-called forks of Android-a version built from the same basic components, but with different device classes and use. It has been modified to suit the manufacturer’s goals, such as targeting cases–without fear of punitive damages from Google.
The story continues
The Fairtrade Commission’s actions were not limited to mobile devices, but corrective actions included new smart device-related areas such as smartwatches and smart TVs, Jo Sung-wook said in a briefing on Tuesday. .. Therefore, new innovations are expected to occur as competitive pressure in this area increases.
South Korean regulators have stepped up surveillance of tech giants, including local players, this year. Kakao Corp.’s corporate group lost more than $ 16 billion in market value at some point this month after prominent legislators called the country’s largest messaging and social media service a symbol of greed. Consumer protection has been the focus of measures designed to curb the market control of large corporations, especially in development areas such as fintech services.
According to South Korean regulators, Google’s market advantage in the mobile space has solidified as a result of technology giants interfering with competitors. According to the committee, Amazon.com Inc. And Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. failed to launch the mobile operating system business, but Samsung and LG were unable to release devices such as smartwatches and speakers with new services on time due to Google’s interference.
Apart from this, KFTC is investigating Google and three other cases related to competitive restrictions in the Play Store app market, in-app purchases, and advertising market.
(Updated with Google statement in 4th paragraph)
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