Google is Hit with a $177 Million Fine for Abusing Android Dominance

Google is Hit with a $177 Million Fine for Abusing Android Dominance
Credits: Unsplash/Mitchell Luo

It seems like Google is having a hard time staying on its feet as the company has now been hit with another fine for alleged anti-competitive practices. This time in South Korea. According to the news outlet Korea Herald, the latest fine is  207.4 billion won (~$177 million). The company is being fined for abusing Android's dominance and stifling the competition in the operating system market.

As per the report, the fine relates to Google's requirement that all OEMs sign an "anti-fragmentation agreement," or AFA, before giving access to Android. The agreement prevents them from installing modified versions of Android on their devices. The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) understands that this practice established the company's dominance in the operating system and app store spaces and stifled the competition. Alongside the fine, the KFTC has also ordered the company to ban the AFA requirements.

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Google Fails to Catch a Break as it is Hit by Another Substantial Fine for Abusing Android Dominance

For those wondering, this is not the first time that Google has found itself in hot waters. The company was hit by a $590 million fine back in July. A $123 million fine hit it for abusing its Android Auto dominance two months earlier. The search engine giant is also facing an antitrust case in 36 states in the United States. The EU is also investigating Google and forces other OEMs to use Google Assistant as the default voice assistant.

This fine is coming shortly after South Korea filed a landmark bill that banned Google and Apple from forcing developers to use specific payment platforms.

What's worrying for Google is that this might not be the only issue the search engine giant faces in South Korea. The KFTC is also looking into Google's Play Store monopoly on Android and the billing policy.

Google has not commented on the story at the moment, but we will keep you posted about how this goes forward.

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