Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) the parent company of leading search engine Google has been slapped with a 207 billion won ($176.64 million) fine by South Korea’s antitrust regulator, Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) for blocking the customized version of Android Operating System which it also owns.
KFTC claims that according to the contract terms between Google and smart devices manufacturers, this act amounted to abuse of Google’s market dominance position which restricted competition in the smartphone operating system market.
“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,” said KFTC’s chairperson, Joh Sung-wook.
In its response, Google said it will its planning to appeal the ruling by the commission faulting the commission for ignoring benefits offered by the compatibility of the Android OS with other programs. Google also accuses the commission of overlooking advantages enjoyed by consumers.
The commission further banned Google from forcing device manufacturers to sign anti-fragmentation agreement (AFA) allowing the manufacturers to adopt modified versions of Android OS on their devices.