South Korea’s antitrust regulator said on the 5th that it will conduct a final review on whether Google has abused its dominant position in the mobile operating system and application market. Yonhap News Agency reported that since 2016, South Korea’s antitrust regulators have been investigating whether Google has prevented local smartphone manufacturers from using other companies’ mobile operating systems. The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) stated that it will hold its third and final plenary meeting on September 1 to decide whether to impose penalties on Google.
It is reported that in addition, South Korean antitrust regulators are also conducting a series of antitrust investigations on Google, such as whether Google forces mobile game applications to be sold only in its app store, and whether Google’s new pricing rules hinder market competition. Google announced in September last year that it would charge 30% of all app developers in South Korea to authorize them to purchase in-app digital content.
Last month, a committee of the National Assembly of South Korea agreed to amend the communications service bill to prohibit app market operators from unfairly using their position to force app developers to accept certain charging systems. The Yonhap News Agency reported that once the relevant provisions are voted into law, it will be the first in the world.
Both Google and Apple have expressed concerns about the aforementioned legislative actions. Google said that if users do not use Google’s payment system, they may encounter security risks. Apple also expressed a similar view, believing that the current proposed amendments may expose users to fraud and privacy risks.
Both Google and Apple are currently facing various antitrust investigations globally, as well as in the United States. Last month, the attorneys general of many states in the United States filed a lawsuit against Google, arguing that it has anti-competitive behavior in the field of app stores.