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Google Hit With $177M Fine In South Korea Over Squeezing Out Android Rivals: Report

South Korea’s antitrust regulator has slapped Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google a fine of $177 million, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday.

What Happened: The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has fined the U.S.-based search engine giant over abusing its dominant market position to restrict competition in the mobile operating system (OS) market.

The fine comes after the agency investigated Google for allegedly preventing local smartphone makers from customising its Android OS.  

Google’s mobile operating system powers more than 80% of smartphones around the world and regulators have accused Google of using its dominant position to squeeze out competition, Bloomberg noted.

See Also: Apple, Google Set To Take First Antitrust Hit Over App Stores As South Korean Lawmakers Pass Key Bill

Why It Matters: The fine is the latest antitrust setback for Google in South Korea, where a bill to ban major app store operators like Google and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) from forcing software developers to use their payment systems and effectively stopping developers from charging commission on in-app purchases has been passed.

As per KFTC, Google has forced smartphone makers to follow an “anti-fragmentation agreement (AFA),” and they haven’t been allowed to develop or use modified versions of Android, known as “Android forks,” on their devices. 

The regulator is also reportedly investigating three other cases related to Google over restricting competition on Play Store.

Price Action: Alphabet Inc Class A Shares closed 1.03% higher at $2,846.65 on Monday.

For news coverage in French, Italian, or Spanish, check out Benzinga FranceBenzinga Italia, or Benzinga España.

© 2021 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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