South Korea Antitrust Authorities Fine Google for $177 Million USD

Korean regulators have accused the American tech giant of hindering the development of Android competitors.

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Google has officially been slapped with a $177 million USD fine by The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC). Korean regulators are accusing the company of using its dominant market position to hinder the growth of other Android competitors.

Specifically, according to Yonhap News, Korea’s antitrust authorities are concerned that the anti-fragmentation agreement (AFA) that Google makes its manufacturers sign prior to allowing them to use its Android operating system, actually deters competition. The agreement essentially prevents other phone manufacturers including Korean conglomerates like Samsung and LG to install or create their own versions of the Android OS for their own devices. The authorities are now looking to put a stop to the agreement and want to ban the company from forcing its manufacturers to sign the AFAs down the line.

Google responded in a statement, “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 tech giant argues that the compatibility program of Android has helped to improve user experience and actually benefits companies including Korean manufacturers.

According to Endgadget, the decision comes the same day Korea has made an amendment of its Telecommunications Business Act that adds a law that Apple and Google will now have to allow third-party payments for applications on their App Stores.

In case you missed it, Xiaomi has officially launched its first-ever pair of smart glasses.

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