South Korean antitrust regulators recently said they would impose a fine of 207 billion won (about 1.14 billion yuan) on Google's monopoly because Google blocked a customized version of its Android operating system (OS). It is reported that this is the second setback of the American technology giant in less than a month.
Kftc said it could be the ninth highest ticket ever issued.
The Korea Fair Trade Commission (kftc) said that the terms of Google's contract with equipment manufacturers constituted an abuse of its dominant market position and restricted competition in the mobile operating system market.
Kftc said that Google's requirement that device manufacturers comply with the "anti fragmentation agreement (AFA)" when signing key contracts with them on App Store licensing has hindered competition.
According to Google's AFA, manufacturers cannot install a modified version of Android forks on their phones. Kftc said that this will help Google consolidate its dominant position in the mobile operating system market.
According to the ruling, Google will be prohibited from forcing device manufacturers to sign AFA contracts to allow manufacturers to adopt a modified version of the Android operating system on their devices.
Kftc said that Samsung Electronics had previously launched a smart watch with a custom operating system in 2013, but Samsung replaced it with another operating system after Google believed that the move violated the AFA. Samsung Electronics did not comment.
It is reported that this is the second setback of the American technology giant in South Korea in less than a month. In late August, the South Korean parliament passed an amendment to the South Korean telecommunications business law (commonly known as the "anti Google law"), which prohibits application store operators such as Google from forcing software developers to use their payment system to force them to charge high commissions. This requirement effectively prevents developers from charging commissions for in app purchases. On the day when the amendment to the South Korean telecommunications business law came into force, Google encountered the fine decision.
Google said in a statement that it planned to appeal the ruling, saying it ignored the benefits of Android's compatibility with other programs and weakened the interests of consumers.
"The decision of the Korea Fair Trading Commission is of great significance because it provides an opportunity to restore future competitive pressure in the mobile operating system and application market," kftc chairman Joh sung wook said in a statement
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