South Korea's anti trust regulator has fined Alphabet Inc.’s Google 42.1 billion won ($32 million) for blocking its rival from releasing video games.
* Korea’s Fair Trade Commission said that the company is using its clout in the mobile app market to squeeze out a rival.
* Google, reportedly tried to block Korean platform rival One Store Co.’s business development. It allegedly asked Korea’s major game companies including NCSoft Corp. and Netmarble Corp., as well as smaller firms and Chinese companies, to exclusively release their new games in Google’s Play Store, in return for Google promoting their games and providing further support abroad.
* Game makers affected by Google's action include Netmarble , Nexon and NCSOFT, as well as other smaller companies, the antitrust regulator added.
* Such actions by Google began in June 2016, when One Store started in Korea and continued through April 2018, when the watchdog launched the probe, the regulator said.
* Those activities hindered One Store’s ability to attract new games and resulted in a drop in sales during the period, it said. Google earned around 1.8 trillion won in sales through this activity, the FTC estimated.
* Google’s “actions differ from normal marketing activities," Yu Seong Wook, director general for the commission’s Anti-Monopoly Bureau, said at a briefing as reported by Bloomberg. “Google’s intention was to exclude One Store from the market, which it saw as a strong competitor."
* The Korean regulator has ordered Google LLC, Google Korea, Google Asia Pacific to cease offering support to mobile game companies in exchange for promises of exclusivity..
Source : Mint