The South Korean antitrust authority, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), stated on Tuesday that it had chosen to fine Google $176.8 million (approximately Rs 1338 crore). The tech giant has been penalised by the authorities for allegedly abusing its market dominance in the mobile operating system and app sectors.
Since 2016, the KFTC has been looking into the charges against Google. These charges claimed that the US-based company prevented local smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics Co and LG from utilising other operating systems.
Google has distorted competition by asking smartphone manufacturers to sign a “anti-fragmentation agreement (AFA),” according to the regulator. According to the FCC, smartphone producers must sign an AFA contract with Google over app store licences and early access to OS.
The AFA advises smartphone manufacturers against using “Android forks,” which are customised versions of the Android operating system. Smartphone manufacturers were also not permitted to design their own Android forks, according to the regulator.
According to the regulator, Google’s market dominance in the smartphone ecosystem was bolstered by such actions, which harmed innovation in the creation of a new operating system for smart devices.
In addition to the massive punishment, the KFTC ordered Google LLC, Google Asia Pacific, and Google Korea to take essential steps for healthy competition, according to a report by Yonhap news agency.
These initiatives include prohibiting the practise of requiring Android manufacturers to sign AFA agreements. “We anticipate that the current regulations will assist in reviving competition in the mobile OS and app sectors. This is also expected to aid the introduction of new products and services in the smart device sector “According to the KFTC. Also see: When will iOS 15 be released? Check to see if your iPhone model is on the list for the next major software upgrade.
The KFTC is also looking into three more instances alleging Google’s anti-competitive behaviour, which could be a nightmare for the company. Apple iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max announced for Rs 1,19,900 and Rs 1,29,900, respectively: