Google fines $ 177 million in Korea for anti-fragmentation deal

After years of investigation, the South Korean government has fined Google of the equivalent of approximately 177 million dollars for having abused its dominant position on the market and repressed innovation and free competition. The specific area of ‚Äč‚Äčinterest is the smartphone operating systems sector – so in other words Android: the South Korean antitrust thesis is that Google has prevented competitors like Samsung and others from using operating systems developed by other companies (or by them). themselves).

Misbehavior refers in particular to the famous anti-fragmentation agreement , which has been well known and known for a long time in the industry: essentially it says that if a manufacturer wants to use the services that Google creates for Android, like the Play Store, Play Services, Gmail, YouTube and all the others, cannot produce devices with forked operating system. For example, Amazon starts from the usual open-source Android to create its Fire OS, but alters it in a way that is not compatible with Google’s guidelines; and so, even if he wanted to, he could not also put on the market devices with the Play Store.

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Fine aside, South Korean authorities demand that Google abolish anti-fragmentation agreement . The company, for its part, says that this ruling ignores the benefits that the agreement has brought both on the software and on the hardware side, and that it has helped South Korean smartphone makers to be successful in the international market as well. Samsung is indeed the number one smartphone maker in the world, although it must be said that things have not gone quite as well for LG.

Google has already confirmed that it will appeal the decision – not so much for the economic issue (177 millions of dollars are a lot, of course, but in the last quarter alone the turnover was more than 61 billion!) as much as for the request to abolish the anti-fragmentation agreement.

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