Google has been fined $32M by the South Korea Fair Trade Commission. Google used various means to prevent game companies from releasing games on the competitor's platform (One Store), and South Korea Fair Trade Commission judged that Google's actions violated the Fair Trade Act.
The Fair Trade Commission revealed this through a press release on the 11th. According to their investigation, from June 2016 to April 2018, Google used various methods to prevent South Korean game companies from releasing games on the One Store. Google suggested to famous game companies, “If you don’t release your major games on One Store, we will provide various help in the future.”
One Store is an Android market launched in South Korea on June 1, 2016. For the launch of One Store, three South Korean telecommunications companies and Naver cooperated. Then, Google, which had a market share of over 80% in the South Korean Android market, was concerned. According to the Fair Trade Commission's investigation, Google expected that there would be a significant blow to South Korean sales in the future due to One Store.
Then, Google began to make an attractive offer to major South Korean game companies. Google offered to them, 'If you do not release your major games on the One Store, we will help you in various ways later'. For these negotiations, a senior executive at Google's headquarters participated in a meeting with a South Korean game company.
Google made a similar offer to Chinese game companies that wanted to launch mobile games in South Korea. As a result, some major games were not released on the One Store.
As a result of this long-term work, Google Play's share in the South Korean Android Market increased after the launch of One Store. According to the Fair Trade Commission's investigation, after the launch of One Store, Google Play's market share increased from 80 to 85% to 85-95%. In the end, One Store gradually lost its competitiveness.
The Fair Trade Commission judged that Google's actions violated South Korea's Fair Trade Act. So, they fined $32M Google for blocking games on competing platform.
According to the Fair Trade Commission's investigation, Google also recognized that such an act could be a violation of the South Korean Fair Trade Act. So Google tried to leave as little evidence as possible.
The Fair Trade Commission said, “The mobile app market is a platform with a great ripple effect. The Fair Trade Commission will continue to strictly enforce the law against anti-competitive behavior by platform operators."
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