South Korea fines Google for Android OS non-competitive clauses

SEOUL, 14 Sept 2021:

The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) today announced a fine of 207.4 billion won (US$176.8 million) on tech giant Google for imposing the use of its operating system on mobile devices.

The South Korean competition regulator started an investigation of the US company in 2016 in response to complaints filed by domestic mobile phone manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics and LG for impeding the use of operating systems other than Android, the one developed by Google, on their devices.

KFTC considered Google to have distorted free competition by requiring manufacturers to sign an agreement to license their app store and access their operating systems, making it difficult for them to develop their own Android versions.

This practice has allowed the California-based tech firm to cement its dominance in the market for smartphone platforms and hinder the development of other operating systems, according to the South Korean regulator.

KFTC has also ordered the Korean subsidiary of Google to take steps to correct this situation, while the US company has announced it will appeal the decision.

The KFTC decision comes after South Korea in August became the first country in the world to legislate against the monopoly held by Google and Apple in downloading mobile applications.

– EFE