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Sep 14, 2021

Korea penalizes Google US $177 million

Foreign Affairs News Desk

South Korea fines Google 207.4 billion won (US $177 million) for forcing Samsung Electronics and other smart device manufacturers to use only approved versions of the Android operating system.

All Samsung smartphones and tablets use the Android operating system, a mobile operating system designed by Google. Android is a mobile operating system based on a modified version of the Linux kernel and other open source software, designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Founded in 1998, Google is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, a search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware.

Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) said Google banned manufacturers from using so-called fork versions of the OS, which are created when developers take a copy of source code from one software package and develop it to create a distinct and separate piece of software.

The KFTC said that Google forced Samsung, Amazon and Acer, among other companies, to sign anti-fragmentation agreements that banned them from using or developing fork Android OS.

The fine is small in relation to the more than US $40 billion in net income racked up in 2020 by Alphabet, Google’s parent. But the KFTC said its move is significant.

But Google said it intends to appeal the ruling added statement.