S Korea fines Google virtually $180m for market abuse

SEOUL  –  South Korea’s antitrust watchdog fined Google almost $180 million on Tuesday for abusing its dominance within the cell working techniques and app markets, it stated, the most recent in a collection of regulatory strikes towards tech giants world wide.

The penalty got here weeks after South Korea handed a legislation banning main app retailer operators reminiscent of Google and Apple from forcing software program builders to make use of their fee techniques, successfully declaring their profitable Play Retailer and App Retailer monopolies unlawful.

And final week a US decide ordered Apple to loosen management over its App Retailer fee system in an antitrust battle with Fortnite maker Epic Video games.

Google and Apple dominate the net app market in South Korea, the world’s twelfth largest financial system and recognized for its technological prowess. 

The Korea Truthful Commerce Fee (KFTC) has investigated Google since 2016 for allegedly stopping native smartphone makers reminiscent of Samsung Electronics from customising its Android OS.

It stated Google hampered market competitors by means of an “anti-fragmentation settlement” stopping smartphone makers putting in modified variations of Android, generally known as “Android forks”, on their gadgets.

“Due to this, system makers couldn’t launch progressive merchandise with new companies,” the KFTC added in an announcement.

“In consequence, Google might additional cement its market dominance within the cell OS market.”

It fined Google 207.4 billion received (US$176.8 million) and ordered the worldwide tech big to take corrective steps.

Google has maintained that its Play Retailer commissions charged are commonplace within the business and honest compensation for constructing protected marketplaces the place builders can attain folks world wide.

The Play Retailer had revenues of virtually 6 trillion received ($5.2 billion) in 2019, accounting for 63 % of the nation’s whole, based on information from Seoul’s science ministry.

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