The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has imposed a $32m fine on Google for restricting the release of video games on its local rival’s platform.
According to a Bloomberg’s report, the country’s competition watchdog said in an e-mailed statement on 11 April that Google tried to block South Korea’s One Store’s growth.
It also alleged that Google asked some of the Chinese as well as Korean gaming companies, including Netmarble and NCSoft, to ‘exclusively’ launch their games on its Play Store platform.
In return, the Alphabet subsidiary company offered to promote their mobile games and also to provide other support.
The regulator’s statement added that being featured on Google’s top pages has been a ‘crucial’ reason for the success of all the Korean gaming companies in expanding their footprint overseas, where the ‘visibility’ of South Korea’s games is ‘low’.
The latest effort by the KFTC is part of South Korean government’s wider initiatives to promote and maintain fair market practices.
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Meanwhile, Google has refuted all the claims made by KFTC, saying that the company has not offered any benefits to the gaming companies for launching their mobile games on Play Store.
Bloomberg cited a written statement by Google spokesperson who claimed that Play Store is an open platform that allows all the developers to control the distribution of their games and apps.
“There has been no violation of the law. Google makes substantial investments in the success of developers, and we respectfully disagree with the KFTC’s conclusions,” the statement added.
Last month, India National Company Law Appellate Tribunal imposed a fine of $160m on Google for their poor business practices and manipulating its market dominance to make profits.