SOUTH KOREA: A South Korean antitrust regulator fined Alphabet Inc.’s Google (GOOGL.O) 42.1 billion won ($31.88 million) for obstructing the release of mobile video games on competing platforms.
The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) said on Tuesday that Google increased its market dominance and hurt the revenue and platform value of the local app market One Store by forcing video game developers to release their games only on the Google Play Store between June 2016 and April 2018 in exchange for in-app advertising.
Google said it will look over the KFTC’s final decision before deciding what it will do next.
“Google makes significant investments in the success of developers, and we respectfully disagree with the KFTC’s conclusions,” said a spokesperson.
The KFTC said that the actions taken against the big American tech company are part of the government’s work to make sure markets are fair.
Game developers impacted by Google’s action include Nexon (225570. KQ), NCSoft (036570. KS), and Netmarble (251270. KS), as well as other smaller firms, the antitrust regulator added.
In 2021, Google was fined by the KFTC a total of more than 200 billion won for blocking specialised versions of its Android operating system.
Internet censorship in South Korea
Internet censorship is widespread in South Korea and includes several distinctive features, such as the blocking of pro-North Korean websites and, to a lesser extent, Japanese websites, which led to the OpenNet Initiative classifying it as “pervasive” in the conflict/security area.
Except for social networking platforms, which are a common source of legal pornography in the nation, South Korea is also one of the few developed nations where pornography is mostly outlawed.
Everything that the government deems to be “harmful” or subversive is suppressed. Additionally, the nation has a “cyber defamation law,” which enables the authorities to take action against remarks that are judged “hateful” even in the absence of allegations from victims, with citizens facing punishment for such offences.
The first internet censorship law in the world, the Telecommunications Business Act (TBA), was passed by the South Korean government between 1995 and 2002. The Internet Communications Ethics Committee (ICEC), which would monitor the Internet and suggest that content be removed, was established as a result of the act’s passage.
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