Fine for Google in South Korea for Abuse of Power

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Tech group Google has been fined more than 150 million dollars in South Korea for abusing its dominant market position.

 

The search engine giant controls 80 percent of the smartphones worldwide with the Android operating system and uses that power, according to the authorities, to squeeze out the competition.

For example, tech manufacturers Samsung and LG have signed “anti-fragmentation contracts” from Google, which prevent the companies from developing or using their own version of the operating system. South Korea should no longer require these contracts and amend current agreements. In addition, Samsung and LG would have been opposed to the timely launch of new products such as speakers and smartwatches.

Google is appealing the 207.4 billion won fine. According to the tech giant, Android speeds up innovation and improves user experience, but those benefits are unfairly ignored.

The fine is in line with South Korean policy, in which major tech companies are dealt with more harshly. The fine now handed out to Google is the second-highest in the country after that for chip manufacturer Qualcomm for abuse of its dominant position.

Google has already been fined in Europe for abusing its dominant position in the market. For example, in 2017, the company received a monetary penalty of 2.4 billion euros. In addition, parent company Alphabet received a record fine of 4.3 billion euros in 2018 for unfair competition with Android. In March 2019, a sanction of almost 1.5 billion euros followed.

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