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South Korean Watchdog Fines Google For Lack Of Gaming Competition

 |  April 11, 2023

The South Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) levied a fine against Google for engaging in anti-competitive practices aimed at competing app hosting platforms.

As reported by TechCrunch, the fine was pegged at around 42.1 billion won worth approximately $32 million, and it targeted anti-competitive practices from June 2016 to April 2018.

According to the complaint made against the tech giant, there were allegations that it prevented game developers from launching their apps on its rival platform, One Store. This was reportedly done in exchange for offering Google’s in-app exposure and support for global expansion.

Related: Microsoft Preps Games Store To Compete With Apple & Google

Google holds a significant presence in various aspects of the internet, including South Korea. In terms of mobile game development, Google maintains a dominance ranging from 90% to 95%, while One Store accounts for between 5% to 10%.

The KFTC sanctions update states that Google and One Store’s sales from in-app games account for up to 90% of their domestic revenue, potentially causing financial difficulties for other competitors.

The South Korean regulator has stated that Google will face sanctions for the second time, as a means of promoting fair competition among local players.