South Korea Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has fined Google $177.76 million for abusing its android dominant position in the market. As per reports, the South Korean antitrust regulator has accused Google of blocking customized versions of Android by requiring smartphone makers to sign an “anti-fragmentation agreement.” A move that has been viewed to be stifling competition in the operating system space.
According to reports, the agreement prohibits manufacturers from shipping phones with modified versions of Android, also known as “Android forks.” This, according to the regulators, has allowed Google to bolster its market dominance.
Google has been fined KRW 207 billion (about $177 million) by the South Korea Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC).
It has further alleged that rivals such as Amazon and Alibaba failed to succeed in the mobile operating system market due to Google’s anti-competitive practices. Google’s anti-fragmentation agreement is also said to have forced Samsung to switch to a different OS for its smartwatches in 2013.
The ruling comes just weeks after South Korea passed an amendment to the Telecommunications Business Act, which bans Google, Apple, and other large app store operators from forcing developers to use their payment systems.
It is captured that in case the companies fail to comply with the new law, they could be fined up to 3% of their South Korean revenue by regulators.
Google has not categorically responded to the fine but it seems it will appeal the decision.
This isn’t the first time Google will be fined. The company was slapped with a $590 million fine in France for its dealings with news publishers two months ago. Also, around April, Italy fined Google $123 million for abusing its Android Auto dominance. In the US, New York Attorney General Letitia James and a coalition of state attorney generals also filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google over its Play Store policies in July.