Google Has Been Fined $177 Million By South Korea

In the news of digital spaces and their rules, Google was fined by South Korea’s competition regulator on Tuesday.  It was declared that the fine will be 207.4 billion Korean won ($176.9 million) for allegedly making use of its dominant market position in the mobile operating system space to suppress competition.

Currently, Google’s Android operating software is holding the biggest share of the smartphone market. It has even surpassed the performance of Apple’s iOS platform. The U.S. tech giant is claimed to be using its competitive market standing to block smartphone makers like Samsung from using operating systems that are made by competitors. This news is in accordance with the Korea Fair Trade Commission.

Google's mobile operating system powers more than 80 percent of smartphones around the world [File: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg]

Yonhap News added that the regulator, which published its decision in Korean, stated that the tech giant made it a prerequisite for smartphone makers to give their consent for an “anti-fragmentation agreement (AFA)” while signing main contracts with Google over app store licenses and early access to the operating system.

it was said that this practice of Google was suppressing any competition and toning the efforts of the rivals down to make new operating systems. The KFTC has asked the tech giant, “to stop forcing companies to sign AFAs and ordered it to take corrective steps, according to Yonhap.”

“The KFTC’s decision released today ignores these benefits and will undermine the advantages enjoyed by consumers. Google intends to appeal the KFTC’s decision,” the spokesperson told CNBC in a statement. It is said that Google’s financial standing is so massive that this fine that was announced on Tuesday does not even come close to the quarterly earnings of the company.

It was reported that $61.88 billion in revenue was generated by Google last fiscal year. In late August, the country’s parliament gave agreement for a bill that will permit app developers to avoid paying heavy commissions to big app store operators, like Google, by steering users to pay through alternate platforms.

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