The investigation revealed that Google had violated South Korea's competition law by forcing manufacturers to sign "anti-retail agreements". This is just one of several fines levied on the company in recent years, and more penalties appear to be in the works.
Antitrust sanctions are no stranger to Google. The latest case is South Korea's Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), which recently announced a 207.4 billion won ($177 million) fine from the search giant for abusing its market power in the Android ecosystem and stifling competition and innovation in mobile performance. taken. System. This means that in order for an OEM to access Android, they must agree to a set of conditions that prohibit installing forks - modified versions of Android - on their devices. The KFTC found that the law violated local antitrust law, so it ordered Google and its local subsidiaries to stop doing so and remove the requirements from their existing contracts. The Korea Competition Observer also conducts three separate studies on the Play Store, the billing system, and advertising practices of Google.
A Google spokesperson explained Android compatibility has helped hardware and software innovators succeed. In the Android ecosystem, the company believes that "today's KFTC decision ignores these benefits and undermines consumer benefits."
Google intends to reconsider the KFTC ruling that applies to more than just smartphones - smartwatches, tablets, etc. Smart TVs and other Android devices are included in the fix. It comes at a time when South Korea has passed an "anti-Google" law, which allows companies like Google and Apple to allow developers to bypass App Store payment systems.
The $177 million fine may seem trivial. A slap on the wrist on Google, but that's just one of a few complications this year.
In May, Google was fined $123 million in Italy for suppressing competition in Android Auto. Last July, France taxed Google for $591 million for failing to negotiate fairly with local news publishers. In the US, the search giant is facing the largest antitrust lawsuit for claiming to keep the Android operating system through the Play Store.
South Korea's tournament watchdog fined Google $177 million for banning Android branching