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South Korean Regulators Crack Down On Google

Fair Trade Commission orders revised agreements with domestic developers and an internal monitoring system

Search engine and mobile giant Google has been hit with a new series of measures by the South Korean FTC (Fair Trade Commission). The commission has ordered Google to revise its agreements with domestic developers and to establish an internal monitoring system that oversees fair-trade issues in the Korean market. The measures follow on from a $32m fine levied at Google after accusations they had stifled domestic competition, including the popular One Store, a Korean competitor to the Google Play Store.

With these measures, it’s clear that the FTC hasn’t taken its eyes off Google yet. The Korean Fair Trade Commission said in a statement, “A monopolistic app market can have a negative impact on all areas of the mobile ecosystem, and recovering competition in the market is very crucial.

“The latest measure is significant as it acts as a brake on the expansion of dominance by Google, a major global player, and builds grounds for the fair competition in the app market.”

Hey Google, what’s a monopoly?

Regulator scrutiny of tech giants is no longer anything new – after the 2000s and early 2010s, many of these companies now face significant crackdowns. However, these latest moves by the Korean FTC also indicate that the focus is beginning to narrow on certain sections of their businesses that have gone as-yet unnoticed. Google and Apple have often been accused of monopolistic practices due to their strict terms of service on their storefronts and the resources they can levy to keep their front-runner position.

It’s not yet clear just how effective these measures will be, but they’re certainly cause for Google’s management to sit up and take notice of their work in the Korean market. After all, if these measures do hit home, there’s no reason other regulators in other markets wouldn’t look to follow suit.

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