South Korea’s antitrust regulator has fined Alphabet’s Google 207.4 billion won ($ 176.64 million) for blocking the use of modified versions of its Android platform, Reuters reported.
The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) said on Tuesday that the terms of Google’s contract with device makers constituted an abuse of dominance in the mobile OS market, limiting competition. The terms of the contract provide for the conclusion of an anti-crushing agreement (AFA), which prohibits manufacturers from installing modified versions of the Android OS on their devices, as well as modifying the operating system themselves. Investigations into Google’s accusations of preventing local smartphone manufacturers, including Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, from using other companies’ operating systems have been ongoing since 2016.
In response, Google announced its intention to appeal the KFTC decision, as it ignores the benefits of Android’s compatibility with other programs and undermines the benefits that consumers enjoy.
“The decision of the Korea Fair Trade Commission is significant as it provides an opportunity to rekindle competition in the mobile OS and app markets in the future,” – said KFTC Chairman Joh Sung-wook.