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Korea fines Google $ 177 million

Is South Korea becoming Google and other GAFAM’s worst enemy? While the country of the peninsula voted at the end of last August a law against the dominant positions of the App Store and the Play Store, the commission in charge of the antitrust policy of the country continues to charge the giant with the tech.

This Tuesday, it has just sanctioned Google with a fine of 177 million dollars (207 billion won) for violating several free competition rules in force in the Asian country. Korea is directly attacking the AFA contracts that Google has signed all manufacturers wishing to use Android.

These contracts in particular prevent companies like Samsung or LG (two South Korean companies) from detaching themselves from Android on pain of losing access to Google applications. Deemed illegal by the South Korean commission, these contracts had already been in the sights of the European Union, which had forced Google to pay more than $ 5 billion in fines at the end of 2018.

In addition to this fine, the South Korean commission forced Google to end AFA contracts. The Menlo Park firm must also amend current agreements to make them legal under South Korean law.

Apple’s next target of Korean justice?

While Google has just suffered a first fine from the South Korean commission, all eyes are now on the Cupertino company: Apple. South Korea wants to get rid of the monopoly of the two American companies on the world of computers and new technologies.

In its verdict, the Korean commission specified that this ban on AFA contracts was valid for smartphones, but also for the firm’s other “smart” products: watches, tablets and connected televisions.

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