An antitrust regulatory authority in South Korea has slapped Google with a $177 million fine for abusing its hold on the Android operating system, stifling innovation, and preventing the entry of OS competitors.
The Korea Fair Trade Commission cited Google’s terms, specifically the so-called “anti-fragmentation agreement,” that prevented phone manufacturers from offering customized versions of the search giant’s operating system.
This, according to the competition watchdog, is essentially an abuse by Google on its market dominance. By fining Google and banning it from enforcing anti-competitive terms in the future, the KFTC hopes new players will get better chances at gaining a foothold in the market.
Google intends to appeal, claiming that Android has encouraged innovation on hardware and software due to its compatibility program.
The $177 million fine is the ninth-biggest that the KFTC imposed on a company, although this is but a trivial amount to Google’s parent company Alphabet and its $61.88 billion revenue by Q2 2021.