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

The Korea Honest Commerce Fee (KFTC) stated on Tuesday it fined Google $177 million for abusing its market dominance in its 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, via Google’s anti-fragmentation agreements (AFA), in line with the antitrust regulator assertion.

Beneath the AFA, smartphone builders will not be allowed to put in 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 concerning the current model. The brand new measure in South Korea will likely be utilized to not solely mobiles gadgets but additionally different Android-powered good gadgets together with watches and TVs.

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

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

Google’s world cell 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 corporations’ new gadgets like good watches and TVs utilizing the working system (OS) together with Samsung’s good watch in 2013, LG Electronics’ LTE good speaker in 2018 in addition to Amazon’s good TV in 2018.

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

In the meantime, South Korea’s “anti-Google legislation”, takes impact on 14 September, based mostly on Korea Communications Fee’s press launch.

In late August, South Korea handed a invoice to curb world tech corporations together with Google and Apple from imposing their very own proprietary in-app cost service and commissions on app builders.

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