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Seoul High Court Rules Against S. Korean Watchdog In Google Suit

 |  March 3, 2022

A court ruling has temporarily suspended the Korean Fair Trade Commission’s order that Google fix its unfair market practices, reported KBS World. 

The Seoul High Court on Monday sided with the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by Google, Google Asia Pacific and Google Korea against the trade regulator. The decision is an important, if temporary victory for the internet giant, which has faced a series of challenges from National Competition Authorities in recent years.

The commission last year ordered corrective measures and imposed fines on the global tech giant for forcing smartphone makers to only use its Android mobile operating system. The decision in this case echoes similar findings in other jurisdictions, including the European Union, the UK, and Turkey.

Google then filed the lawsuit in January to overturn that decision and separately applied for an injunction with the Seoul High Court.

The court has decided to suspend the KFTC’s order until August 31, saying a deferment is necessary to prevent irreparable damage to the plaintiffs.

The court did rule, however, that the 224-point-nine-billion-won fine imposed on Google remains valid. In addition to the operating system, Google is also accused of requiring smartphone makers to enter into an “anti-fragmentation agreement” when they sign key license contracts with Google.

The KFTC had determined that Google was abusing its market dominance and hampering competition.