[Photo by Yonhap]
South Korea’s antitrust watchdog will convene a full session in April to deliberate punitive action on Google for abuses of its dominant power such as forcing domestic smartphone makers such as Samsung Electronics to use its operating system.
It has been almost five years since the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) initiated its probe in the issue in 2016. An official from the FTC said it is likely to hold a full session up to three times considering the complexity of the case. The watchdog held a full-session meeting six times when it determined punishment on Qualcomm over antitrust violation in 2016.
The American multinational tech company has been accused of damaging fair competition by requiring device manufacturers to pre-install its Android system and blocking them from using operating systems of others.
The antitrust watchdog set up a ‘data room’ to prevent accused companies from delaying investigation by taking advantage of procedural loopholes.
The FTC is likely to grant its final ruling within the first half. Industry observers believe the multinational technology giant would be slapped with a hefty fine and ordered to take remedial actions.
Separately, the watchdog will also hold a full session to deliberate on the case in which Google is charged of forcing Korean game publishers to release titles exclusively on its app store, Google Play, to exclude other app markets. The FTC sent its review report on the issue to the company in January.
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]