Google fined $177 million by South Korea for blocking Android customization

google fined by south korea

South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission fines Google $176.64 million for blocking customization on its Android operating system.

South Korea’s anti-trust regulator, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), has fined Alphabet Inc.’s Google 207 billion Won or $176.64 million. The fined was imposed after the Korea Fair Trade Commission ruled that Google was abusing its dominant market position by blocking customized versions of its Android smartphone and smartwatch operating system. This decision came as the second blow to Google this month after South Korea’s parliament had banned Google and Apple from forcing software developers to use their payment system.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission said Google stifled competition by making device providers abide by an Anti-Fragmentation Agreement (AFA) when signing contracts regarding app store licenses. The clauses under these AFA’s included one who said that the manufacturers could not equip their handsets with modified versions of the Android operating system, called Android Forks. It was agreements like these that have helped Google cement its place in the mobile operating system space.

The statement provided by Google said that it would appeal the decision as Google felt the ruling undermined the advantages and compatibility benefits Android’s customers enjoyed.