South Korea’s competition regulator promised to fine Google, the American tech giant, $ 176.9 million (207.4 billion Korean won) for allegedly using its dominant market position in the operating system space. mobile to stifle competition.
The announcement, which was made on Tuesday by the Korean antitrust regulator or Fair Trade Commission, allegedly stated that Google used its market position to prevent smartphone makers like Samsung from using operating systems developed by rivals.
Google’s Android operating system, which currently has the largest share of the smartphone market, ahead of Apple’s iOS platform, was also allegedly a stifled practice of innovation in the development of new smartphone operating systems, according to Yonhap News.
Yonhap News added that the regulator, which published its decision in Korean, said the tech giant required smartphone makers to agree to an “anti-fragmentation agreement (AFA)” by signing key contracts with Google on the app store licenses and early access to the operation. system.
That deal prevented device makers from installing modified versions of the Android operating system, known as “Android forks,” on their phones, Yonhap reported.
The news site added: The KFTC has asked the tech giant to stop forcing companies to sign AFA and ordered it to take corrective action, according to Yonhap.
A Google spokesperson argued that the Android compatibility program has spurred hardware and software innovation and brought success to Korean phone makers and developers.
“The KFTC decision released today ignores these benefits and will undermine the benefits that consumers enjoy. Google intends to appeal the KFTC’s decision
Tuesday’s fine is small compared to the tech giant’s quarterly figures. Last quarter, Google’s parent company Alphabet posted $ 61.88 billion in revenue Still, Tuesday’s decision is the latest setback for the South Korean tech company.
However, In late August, the country’s parliament passed a bill that will allow app developers to avoid paying high fees to major app store operators, including Google, by instructing users to pay through alternative platforms.