South Korea’s regulators have accused Google of abusing its dominance in the smartphone market. As a result, the company was fined $177 million.
With Android powering 80% of smartphones worldwide, Google squeezes the competition out of the market, Bloomberg reports.
Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) banned the company from making manufacturers like Samsung and LG sign anti-fragmentation agreements (AFA), which didn’t allow other companies to modify Android or develop its rivals.
“The Fair Trade Commission’s action was not limited to mobile devices, but corrective measures included emerging smart device-related areas such as smart watches and smart TV,” chairperson Joh Sung-wook said, adding that it might lead to new innovations occurring in the area.
Google disagreed with the ruling, saying that Android’s compatibility program allows other companies to be innovative and successful in the market. “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,” a Google spokesperson told CNBC.
The KFTC ruling came in the wake of the so-called “Anti-Google law” that was passed in South Korea in August. It should force Google and Apple to allow developers to use third-party payment systems on their app stores. The law comes into force on September 14.