South Korea Fining Google For Power Abuse Is A Samsung vs Goliath Win
South Korea isn’t scared of putting global bully Google in its place.
Citing antitrust concerns, South Korean regulators fined Google KWR 207 billion (176.64 million) on Tuesday.
The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) said Google had blocked customised versions of its Android operating system and accused the American giant of abusing its dominant market position.
Although Google is not as formidable as an entire country such as South Korea, its international dominance can be menacing.
Nonetheless, South Korea refused to be intimidated and much like David took on Goliath, and won.
“The Korea Fair Trade Commission’s decision is meaningful in a way that it provides an opportunity to restore future competitive pressure in the mobile OS and app market markets,” KFTC Chairperson Joh Sung-wook said in a statement.
Samsung, LG and other Korean smartphone makers will appreciate their country fighting for the little (although still quite big) guys.
In one example presented by KFTC, Samsung had launched a smartwatch with a customised OS but was forced to switch to a different OS after Google regarded it a violation of its “anti-fragmentation agreement” (AFA).
Google had forced device producers to sign the AFA that prevented them from using modified versions of Android.
KFTC has now banned Google from forcing device makers to sign AFA contracts and has landed the US giant with its ninth-biggest fine ever.
South Korea’s win shows device makers and countries around the world that the Google Goliath can be taken down a few notches.
Image credit: Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash