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South Korea Fines Google $177 Million for Blocking Android Customisation

SEOUL—South Korea’s antitrust regulator has fined Alphabet Inc’s Google 207 billion won ($176.64 million) for blocking customised versions of its Android operating system (OS), in the U.S. technology giant’s second setback in the country in less than a month. The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) said on Tuesday Google’s contract terms with device makers amounted to an abuse of its dominant market position that restricted competition in the mobile OS market. Google said in a statement it intends to appeal the ruling, saying it ignores the benefits offered by Android’s compatibility with other programs and undermines advantages enjoyed by consumers. “The Korea Fair Trade Commission’s decision is meaningful in a way that it provides an opportunity to restore future competitive pressure in the mobile OS and app market markets,” KFTC Chairperson Joh Sung-wook said in a statement. The antitrust regulator said this could be the ninth-biggest fine it has ever …

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