Tech

South Korea fines google $ 177 million

South Korea fines google $ 177 million

South Korea fined Google $ 177 million for abusing its dominant market position to stop device makers from using modified versions of Android.

The ruling prohibits Google from forcing manufacturers to sign an Anti-Fragmentation Agreement (AFA), and also requires them to modify existing agreements.

Android is currently the most popular mobile operating system in the world and is installed on over 80 percent of smartphones globally. Although the core of Android is open source, manufacturers need to sign up for an AFA to receive benefits such as early access to the operating system as well as access to the Google Play Store, an essential part of the Android experience for most smartphone users.

In a statement, a spokesman for Google told CNBC that the company disagreed with the decision and argued that Android policies had allowed Korean phone makers and developers to be successful and created opportunities for innovation.

"The decision of the KFTC (Korea Fair Trade Commission) published today ignores these benefits and will undermine the benefits enjoyed by consumers," the spokesman said, adding that Google plans to appeal the decision. Google has previously said that its AFAs are needed to ensure that applications work on more Android phones.

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