It’s a pity as Google has been found guilty of abusing Android dominance in South Korea. According to THEVERGE, Google has been fined 207.4 billion won (around $177 million) in South Korea for abusing its dominant market position to stop device manufacturers from using modified versions of Android, Bloomberg reports.
To be specific, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) is taking issue with the anti-fragmentation agreements (AFA) Google has manufacturers like Samsung sign, which prevents it from making changes to the operating system.
The ruling bans Google from forcing manufacturers to sign these AFAs, and will also oblige it to modify existing agreements.
Google Guilty Of Abusing Android Dominance in South Korea
The regulator is worried that restricting these forks to the OS has prevented the emergence of viable competitors to Android from the likes of Amazon and Alibaba. Android is currently the world’s most popular mobile operating system and is installed on over 80 percent of smartphones globally.
Even though the core of Android is open-source, manufacturers have to sign an AFA to get benefits like early access to the operating system as well as access to the Google Play Store, an essential part of the Android experience for most smartphone users, CNBC notes. You can get the full details from this link.
Google’s History of Run-Ins With the Regulators
According to BBC, Google has had some cases of run-ins with the regulators. Some of those cases are listed below;
- 2007 – US Federal Trade Commission investigates Google’s acquisition of online advertising firm DoubleClick and rules it can go ahead.
- 2008– US Justice Department blocks a deal to allow Yahoo to run Google search ads on Yahoo sites.
- 2009 – Rivals file complaints against Google to national regulators in Europe, citing competition concerns.
- 2010 – European Commission launches formal antitrust probe of Google’s search business. This is still ongoing.
- 2013 – FTC drops its two-year investigation of Google, concluding it had not manipulated search results to damage rivals.
- 2014 – European politicians pass a non-binding resolution calling for the break-up of Google’s search engine business from the rest of the company.
- 2015 – New EU antitrust commissioner Ms Vestager charges Google with distorting search results to favor its own shopping services over rivals and reveals that she is also investigating Google’s Android business.
- Over these years, Google has also faced scrutiny from regulators in South Korea, Brazil, India, and Russia.
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