The antitrust regulators of South Korea on Tuesday announced it will fine the Search Engine Giant $176.9 million for using its dominant market position in the mobile operating system space to stifle competition. Google’s Android operating system currently holds the lion’s share of the smartphone market.
The Search Engine Giant Google reportedly used its market position to block smartphone makers like Samsung from using operating systems developed by rivals. Yonhap News added that the regulator, which published its decision in Korean, said that the company required smartphone makers to agree to an anti-fragmentation agreement. This should be done when signing key contracts with Google over app store licenses and early access to the operating system.
The antitrust regulators have asked the tech giant to stop forcing companies to sign AFAs and ordered it to take corrective steps. A Google spokesperson argued that Android’s compatibility program has spurred hardware and software innovation, and brought success to Korean phone makers and developers. The fine imposed by the antitrust regulators is small compared with the tech giant’s quarterly figures. Last quarter, Google’s parent company Alphabet reported $61.88 billion in revenue. This decision is the latest setback for the Search Engine Giant in South Korea.