A Korean fine against Google amounting to 177 million dollars
A Korean fine against Google amounting to 177 million dollars

Google has been fined 207.4 billion won (about $177 million) in South Korea for abusing its dominant market position to prevent device manufacturers from using modified versions of Android.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) is tasked with handling anti-trade deals that the search engine giant has forced manufacturers like Samsung to sign to prevent changes to the operating system.

The research giant's decision prohibits forcing manufacturers to sign such anti-fragmentation agreements. It is also necessary to change the existing agreement.

Regulators fear that limiting this impact on the operating system has prevented the emergence of Android competitors such as Amazon and Alibaba.

Android is currently the most popular mobile operating system in the world. So it is installed on more than 80% of smartphones worldwide.

Although the core of Android is open source. But the manufacturer must sign an anti-trade agreement. These are advantages such as early access to the operating system and access to the Google Play Store which are an important part of the Android experience for most smartphone users.

"This decision provides an opportunity to restore future competitive pressure in the market for operating systems and mobile applications," said the head of the Korea Fair Trade Commission. He added that the fine could be the ninth highest in the regulator's history.

A Google spokesperson said in a statement that the company did not agree with the decision. He believes that Android guidelines will enable Korean mobile phone manufacturers and developers to thrive and create opportunities for innovation.

A Korean fine against Google amounting to 177 million dollars

A company spokesperson said the commission's decision ignores these benefits. It destroys the benefits that consumers enjoy. Therefore, the company plans to appeal the decision.

Google previously said that an anti-fragmentation protocol is required to ensure apps run on more Android phones.

In addition to smartphones, Android is also used by devices such as smart watches and smart TVs.

South Korean regulators said the ruling also applies to these other categories. Corrective actions include new areas related to smart devices such as smart watches and smart TVs.

In addition, the ruling was issued on the same day that South Korea's anti-Google law went into effect.

Therefore, the new law requires that owners of large platforms allow developers to use third-party payment systems in their applications.

Both companies have previously asked developers to use in-app payments for in-app purchases. In most cases, this results in both companies charging 30% of the transaction.

Similarly, a US judge ruled last week that based on a lawsuit brought by Epic Games, Apple cannot prevent developers from using other payment methods.

The report shows that South Korean regulators are also investigating competition restrictions in the Google Play Store, in-app purchases and in ad markets.

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