[Graphics by Song Ji-yoon]
South Korea’s antitrust watchdog is reinforcing its monitoring on unfair advertising practices by platform giants like Google and Facebook.
The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said Monday that it has added a digital advertisement supervising division under its ICT monitoring team. The ICT team was established in November 2019 to strengthen scrutiny on anti-competitive actions by tech companies in four categories including app markets, online-to-offline (O2O) platforms, semiconductors and intellectual property. The team led investigations on power abuse charges of Naver and Apple.
The watchdog decided to launch the online advertising monitoring team as platform giants are taking huge profits from targeted advertising based on customer data. The new team will monitor whether the platform giants are abusing their dominant power by bundling their products or services with advertisements, interfering transactions with competitors or deceitfully collecting private information from customers.
The FTC has also consigned a study on the current status of the digital advertising market. It conducted an on-site inspection on Google Korea’s office in Gangnam district last month over the allegation that Google has forced some game app developers who have bought advertising from Google not to run their ads on other platforms.
In addition, the authority said it would add more investigators to its in-app payment investigation team under the app market department to strengthen its probe on Google’s controversial in-app billing system that requires game developers to pay 15 percent commission for servicing their labels on Google Play Store.
The team plans to review the impact of the in-app billing system on the overall app store market and payment market as well as on app developers and customers.
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]