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South Korea fines Google 177 mln USD for anti-competitive practices in mobile OS

Christian Fernsby |
South Korea's anti-trust regulator said Tuesday that it decided to fine global tech giant Google 207.4 billion won (177 million U.S. dollars) for its anti-competitive practices in mobile operating system (OS).

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The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) said in a statement that Google prevented device makers, such as Samsung Electronics, from producing devices installed with the modified versions of Android OS developed by Google rivals.

The KFTC said Google hampered the market entrance of the modified versions called Android forks, and hindered the innovation, leading the anti-trust body to fine the U.S.-based company and give it the correction order.

According to the KFTC, Google forced device makers to clinch an anti-fragmentation agreement (AFA), under which device manufacturers are not allowed to install Android forks nor develop their own Android forks.

The AFA helped Google cement its dominance further in the mobile OS market, while thwarting the launch of fresh devices installed with Android forks and undermining the OS innovation for smart devices, the KFTC said.

The KFTC vowed to sternly tackle any anti-competitive practices that can strengthen the monopoly status of platform service providers that dominated the market in advance.

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