The Korea Fair Trade Commission has fined Google 176.8 million dollars for blocking customized versions of its Android operating system.
Google apparently hampered market competition by requiring smartphone makers…such as Samsung Electronics to abide by an "anti-fragmentation agreement" when they sign key contracts over app store licenses and early access to Android's operating system.
Under this agreement, device makers can't install modified versions of Android OS, known as "Android forks" on their products…and can't develop their own Android forks eitherand if they don't sign the agreement they can't use key apps like Google Play Store.
This has helped Google cement its monopoly in the market stifling any room for development of new operating systems for smart devices.
On top of the fine, the regulator has also ordered Google to stop forcing Android manufacturers to sign an AFA.
"We expect the latest measures will help set the stage for competition to revive the mobile OS and app markets. This is also expected to help the launch of innovative goods and services in the smart device market."
Google has said in a statement that it intends to appeal, adding that the ruling ignores the benefits offered by Android's compatibility with other programs.
It does not look like a good month for Google with an amendment to South Korea's Telecommunications Business Act - dubbed the "anti-Google law" coming into effect on Tuesday… which stops tech giants from requiring that software developers use their payment systems.
Kim Cheong-ah, Arirang News.