The authorities say due to Google’s anti-fragmentation agreements (AFA) with Korean tech giants like Samsung and LG, they’ve not been able to develop their own operating system, but have to resort to creating forks of Google’s Android. In addition to the hefty $177 million fine, the commission has also banned the company from forcing manufacturers to sign AFAs going forward and to modify existing ones. Moreover, the regulatory is also investigating Google’s Play Store, implementation of in-app purchases, and advertising business as part of three separate inquiries.
In a statement to Bloomberg, Google said Android has said that it will appeal the decision. It claims Android has improved the user experience and accelerated innovation among Korean companies. “The KFTC’s decision released today ignores these benefits, and will undermine the advantages enjoyed by consumers,” the company said in a statement.
Fair Trade Commission says its “action was not limited to mobile devices, but corrective measures included emerging smart device-related areas such as smartwatches and smart TVs. Therefore, we expect that new innovations will occur as some competitive pressures in this area are activated.”