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Google Sues South Korea’s Regulator To Reverse Antitrust Fine

 |  February 13, 2022

Google is asking a judge to reverse the fine it received last year from South Korea’s competition regulator after the tech giant tried to force the country’s phone makers to use its Android operating system, according to PYMNTS.

The lawsuit, filed last month, seeks to cancel a 207.4 billion won ($173 million) penalty imposed by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC). The sanction is among the largest ever issued by the agency.

Regulators allege Google has hurt competition by requiring smartphone makers to sign anti-fragmentation agreements (AFAs). Under the terms of the contract, Google prevents South Korean manufacturers, including Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, from making changes to the Android OS.

Google has insisted that its AFAs are necessary to ensure that apps work across the Android phone network.

In a separate case, Google appealed that decision. The Seoul High Court is expected to consider the appeal Feb. 25.

The decision by the KFTC prohibited Google from forcing manufacturers to sign AFAs, and the court ordered existing agreements be amended.

Korea has been among the first nations to legislate against the alleged monopolies by Google and Apple in downloading mobile apps to their mobile operating systems.

The country’s Telecommunications Business Act, enacted last fall, prohibits Apple and Google from charging software developers commission on in-app purchases.

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