S. Korea nears decision on Google antitrust case

Country's Fair Trade Commission is expected to be close to a decision on whether Google was stifling the market by allegedly having phonemakers preinstall only its search engine on their devices.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

South Korea's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) is expected to soon reveal its deliberations on whether Google was involved in activities that negatively impacts fair market competition.

Yonhap News Agency reported Friday the FTC is close to reaching a conclusion on the case, citing unnamed industry sources. Others said the corporate watchdog was prepared to drop the charges against Google earlier.

"We were informed the FTC temporarily decided to drop the charges against Google though the whole process has yet to be finalized," one anonymous industry source revealed.

However, this might now change as the FTC is looking closely into how other similar pending cases against Google in other markets play out, the sources added.

The case was brought to the FTC's attention in 2011 by NHN Corp and Daum Communications, two of South Korea's major portal operators. They accused Google for hurting fair market competition by compelling phonemakers to preload only its search engine into their devices when offering its Android operating system, the report noted.

Antitrust investigations against Google were also initiated in India. According to Parliament records, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) started investigations six months ago when consumer advocacy group Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) International complained to the CCI that Google practised anti-competitive behaviour.




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