Alphabet Inc’s Google has been fined 42.1 billion won ($31.88 million) by South Korea’s antitrust regulator for hindering the release of mobile video games on a competing platform.
The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) stated on Tuesday that Google reinforced its market control and negatively impacted the earnings and value of the local app market One Store’s platform by forcing video game makers to launch their titles exclusively on Google Play, in exchange for providing in-app exposure.
The regulation was in place from June 2016 to April 2018. The KFTC’s move against the US technology giant is part of the government’s attempt to ensure fair markets. The Korean government wants to make sure that markets are fair, and the decision against Google is part of this effort.
Game makers impacted by Google’s actions include Nexon, Netmarble, and NCSOFT, as well as smaller firms. The antitrust regulator revealed that Google was fined over 200 billion won in 2021 by the KFTC for blocking tailored versions of its Android operating system.
A Google spokesperson said the company will review the KFTC’s final decision to determine its next steps and that Google invests substantially in developers’ success, disagreeing respectfully with the KFTC’s conclusions.