Google, recently, has been facing some serious issues in South Korea. On 14 September, the country’s antitrust regulator said that it had decided to fine Google $176.8 million for its alleged abuse and monopoly of market dominance in the app markets and mobile operating system.
Since the year 2016, South Korea's 'Korea Fair Trade Commission' (KFTC) has been investigating Google over allegations that it obstructed local smartphone makers like Samsung Electronics Co, from using operating systems which are developed by Google's rivals.
According to the regulator, Google has damaged the market competition by requiring smartphone makers to agree an "anti-fragmentation agreement (AFA)" when they sign other key contracts with Google over the app store licenses and early access to OS. Under the AFA rules, the device makers are not allowed to install any modified versions of Android OS on their products and also not allowed to develop their own OS.
This AFA agreement has helped Google maintain it's dominance over mobile platform market and weakened the innovation in the development of new OS for smart devices.
The KFTC has also ordered Google LLC, Google Asia Pacific and Google Korea to take steps and change their system and also stop it's practice of forcing Android manufacturers to sign an AFA and make necessary corrections on details about the AFA before reporting them to the commission.
"We expect the latest measures will help set the stage for competition to revive in the mobile OS and app markets. This is also expected to help the launch of innovative goods and services in smart device markets," the KFTC said.