Today we’ve learned that Google fined $177M over Android rules, the antitrust agency from South Korea took action against the tech giant for preventing manufacturers from using modified versions of Android.
Governments are getting more and more serious about monitoring large companies operating around the world, and Google is always in the spotlight. We recently learned that the company’s virtual assistant is under investigation in Europe for a possible monopoly practice. Now, a new penalty from South Korea targets the American firm.
Google fined $177M in South Korea
The tech giant is fined $177M for exercising a dominant position in the South Korean market. The trial has concluded that Google has curbed the use of modified versions of Android, known as forks, by manufacturers.
Anti-fragmentation agreements, also known as AFAs, are a standard part of Google’s business when dealing with Android manufacturers. These measures piqued the interest of the South Korean authorities. The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has ruled that these agreements block the possible use of modified versions of Android by manufacturers and that this is considered an abuse of dominance.
Google is preventing manufacturers from using modified versions of Android
Manufacturers agree to Google’s terms in order to gain Android certification, which enables them to market their devices as legitimate. Despite the fact that Google maintains Android’s fundamentals as open-source, manufacturers sign licensing agreements that compel them to include the Google Play Store and other corporate services. This is commonly known as the Android approval procedure.
“The Korea Fair Trade Commission’s decision is meaningful in a way that it provides an opportunity to restore future competitive pressure in the mobile OS and app market markets,” said Joh Sung-Wook, a KFTC official.
Google officials responded that: “The KFTC’s decision released today ignores these benefits, and will undermine the advantages enjoyed by consumers.”