The Fair Trade Commission of South Korea has fined $32 million on Google for its actions in preventing developers from releasing mobile video games on One Store, a competing platform in Korea.
According to an announcement made on Tuesday, the Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has alleged that Google enforced an exclusive release requirement for Korean video game companies on its Play Store from June 2016 to April 2018. Google prohibited local game developers from releasing their content on One Store in exchange for in-app exposure and support for global expansion.
Data compiled by the Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) reveals that Google’s market share in the mobile Android app market in South Korea surged to an estimated 90% to 95% in 2018, up from approximately 80% to 85% in 2016. Meanwhile, One Store, a local competitor, saw its market share decline from 15% to 20% in 2016 to about 5% to 10% in 2018.
The South Korean antitrust watchdog has taken action against Google to encourage fair competition in the app market and avoid misuse of its dominating position.
In a press release, the Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) noted that over 90% of domestic game sales are made through Google Play and One Store. The KFTC highlighted that Google’s activities had adversely affected a range of gaming businesses, including major players like NCSoft, Netmarble, and Nexon, as well as small and mid-sized game producers.
KFTC of South Korea fined Google $177 million last year for suspected market dominance abuse in the Android operating system (OS) industry.
According to Google, it has helped Korean mobile game developers who have published their titles on the Play Store during the past ten years flourish and expand internationally.