South Korea: Antitrust fines Google $ 177 million

SEOUL (Reuters) – The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KTFC), South Korea’s competition authority, fined Alphabet, Google’s parent company, on Tuesday, saying the US giant had abused its dominant position in the market. market to restrict competition in mobile operations. systems market.

The KFTC said the terms with the device makers amounted to an abuse of Google’s dominant position in the market.

Google said in a statement its intention to appeal. According to the company, the decision ignores the benefits of Android’s compatibility with other programs and undermines the benefits that consumers enjoy.

The fine was imposed on the day that an amendment to South Korea’s telecommunications law, commonly known as the “anti-Google law,” went into effect.

The law now prohibits app store operators like Google from requiring software developers to use their payment systems, a requirement that effectively prevented developers from taking a commission for “in-app” purchases.

According to the KFTC, Google has hindered competition in the marketplace by requiring smartphone makers to adhere to an “anti-fragmentation agreement” (AFA) by signing key contracts with Google over the license of the app store.

According to the AFA, manufacturers could not equip their phones with modified versions of Android, known as “Android forks.”

This has allowed Google to consolidate its dominant position in the mobile operating systems market, the KFTC said.

(Heekyong Yang Report; French version Camille Raynaud)

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