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Google Fined $32Mln by S. Korea Over Unfair Business Practices in Game App Market, Reports Say

The Google logo is seen at the Vivatech, a gadgets show in Paris, France, Friday, June 16, 2017InternationalIndiaAfricaMOSCOW (Sputnik) – South Korea’s antitrust regulator has imposed a fine of 42.1 billion won ($32 million) on Google, Google Korea and Google Asia for unfair business practices to strengthen its dominant position in Korea’s mobile game application market, media reported on Tuesday. According to the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), the fine was imposed over the US tech giant’s shady arrangements with South Korean mobile game firms from June 2016 to April 2018, South Korean news agency reported. Google asked South Korean firms to release their content exclusively on Google Play platform, prohibiting them from using One Store, a major domestic app marketplace launched in January 2016 by three South Korean mobile carriers along with Naver Corp, according to the report. “By blocking the release of games on One Store, Google has hindered innovation and consumer benefits in the app market and mobile gaming sector,” the FTC said. According to the FTC, Google was aware of a potential fair trade violation, and internally obligated its employees to delete relevant emails and discuss matters offline so as not to leave a trail, the report said. AmericasGoogle’s Jigsaw Reportedly Lays Off At Least One Third of Workforce3 February, 15:54 GMTSuch agreements, according to the commission, helped Google consolidate its dominant position in the local app market, expanding its presence from about 80-85% in 2016 to 90-95% in 2018. Meanwhile, One Store dropped from 15-20% to 5-10% during that period, according to the report.

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