South Korea fined Alphabet Inc.’s Google $177 million for impeding the development of rivals to its Android operating system, according to a report by Bloomberg on Tuesday.
- Regulators across the world accuse Google, whose mobile operating systems powers over 80% of smartphones globally, of using its massive bargaining power to squeeze out the competition.
- The Korea Fair Trade Commission stated that Google’s anti-fragmentation agreements (AFA) with manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc prevented gadget makers from using modified versions of the Android OS.
- The Korean watchdog banned Google from requiring manufacturers to sign AFA contracts and demanded that it modify the existing contracts.
- In August, Korea became the first country to pass a law forcing Apple Inc. and Google to open up their app stores to outside payment systems, setting a radical precedent for their lucrative operations.
Tuesday’s 207.4 billion won fine is one of the highest imposed in the country over the abuse of market dominance, with only Qualcomm Inc.’s mobile chipsets experiencing higher fines. GOOGL up 1.03%