Google is suing South Korea’s competition regulator in an attempt to reverse the fine it received last year for forcing Korean phone manufacturers to use its Android operating system.

Google filed a lawsuit on January 24 to annul the fine of 207.4 billion won ($173m) imposed in September by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), according to a report on Tuesday from Korean news agency Yonhap.

The Mountain View giant had already appealed the fine, one of the biggest ever handed out by the KFTC, before the Seoul High Court, which will begin to settle the appeal on February 25.

The KFTC’s fine concerned anti-fragmentation agreements (AFA) which Google had South Korean manufacturers like Samsung sign, preventing them from making changes to the Android OS. Its ruling prohibited the US goliath from forcing manufacturers to sign these AFAs, with a requirement to modify existing agreements.

The 2021 ruling came amid a wider regulatory crackdown on tech giants: As a recent GlobalData report notes, regulators around the world are targeting Big Tech firms on issues such as antitrust, data privacy, online harm, tax avoidance and misinformation.

Korea has led the way on this front, becoming the first country to legislate against the monopolies held by Google and Apple in downloading mobile applications to their respective mobile operating systems. The country’s Telecommunications Business Act from September prevents Apple and Google from charging software developers commission on in-app purchases.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

On the Android anti-trust appeal, Google is reported by Yonhap to have said Android’s compatibility program has promoted better hardware and software innovation, and brought success to Korean OEMs and developers, leading to “greater choice, quality and better user experience for Korean consumers.”

The KFTC’s decision “ignores these benefits and will undermine the advantages enjoyed by consumers,” Google said.

Google has long argued that its AFAs are necessary to ensure that apps work across more Android phones.

Verdict reached out to Google for comment prior to publication of this piece.