South Korea fined Google 207.4 billion won (about 150 million euros) for restricting manufacturers. The Korea Fair Trade Commission has done so because of documents that prevent manufacturers from making some changes to the Android system. However, without agreeing to these restrictions, they would lose the ability to use multiple key system components, such as the Google Play store. The topic was addressed by The Verge portal.
Google does not agree with the verdict
In addition to a severe fine, the Commission’s decision also includes a ban on manufacturers from signing these documents and also requires existing agreements to be amended. The new rules will apply not only to smartphones, but also to other Android devices, such as smart watches and televisions. In addition, the ruling is intended to help viable competitors such as Amazon and Alibaba create competitive pressure in this segment.
A Google spokesman said the company did not agree with the ruling. According to her, these documents are necessary to ensure that the applications work on all Android devices and have helped Korean manufacturers succeed in the smartphone market. The company claims that it ignores the decision and in the future will undermine all the benefits that the restrictions have brought not only to manufacturers but mainly to users.
The so-called “anti-Google law” has also come into force in South Korea
The verdict comes on the same day that the so-called “anti-Google law” enters into force in South Korea. The new law requires technology giants such as Google and Apple to allow developers to use arbitrary payment systems in their applications. Both companies previously required that payments be processed by their own systems, for which, of course, they charged a fee. In most cases, it was up to 30% of each transaction.
The Korean regulator is not done with Google yet, and is currently investigating an alleged restriction of competition in the Play store, in-app purchases, and in the ad market.
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