About Boardroom

Boardroom is a media network that covers the business of sports, entertainment. From the ways that athletes, executives, musicians and creators are moving the business world forward to new technologies, emerging leagues, and industry trends, Boardroom brings you all the news and insights you need to know...

At the forefront of industry change, Boardroom is committed to unique perspectives on and access to the news, trending topics and key players you need to know.

All Rights Reserved. 2022.

Why Did the South Korean Government Slap Google With Another Big Fine?

Last Updated: January 11, 2024
Boardroom explains everything you need to know about Korean authorities cracking down on Google once again over anti-competitive business practices.

On Tuesday, authorities in South Korea dropped the hammer on one of the planet’s largest tech companies. After the Korea Fair Trade Commission — the country’s regulatory body on antitrust matters — ruled that Google improperly blocked user access to games on the Korea-based ONE Store mobile app market, the Alphabet-owned mega-company was fined $31.9 million (42.1 billion).

The method of transgression? Preventing game developers from publishing their works to the platform in the first place. Notably, ONE Store is a direct competitor to the Google Play Store in the region.

As a company spokesperson said in a statement to several media outlets on the occasion, “We have cooperated diligently with the KFTC’s investigation and deliberation process for the past five years and believe that 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. We will carefully review the final written decision once it’s shared with us to evaluate the next course of action.”

Sign up for our newsletter

Get on our list for weekly sports business, industry trends, interviews, and more.

As TechCrunch notes, Google Play’s app store market share in South Korea was approximately 95% in 2018. Naturally, regulators are sensitive to antitrust concerns in any event considering such an asymmetric market, but it’s additionally worth noting that this isn’t the first Google South Korea regulatory row. The KFTC fined the company nearly $180 million as recently as 2021 over anti-competition concerns stemming from preventing rival smartphone manufacturers from releasing retail devices loaded with modified versions of the Android OS.

These latest developments exist against the backdrop of ongoing Google-centric regulatory challenges around the world. European Union authorities have asked similarly stern antitrust questions about Google Play, and earlier this year, the US Department of Justice and eight individual state governments filed a lawsuit against Google on grounds that the company was exploiting an illegal monopoly on digital advertising technology.

More Tech:

About The Author
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn is the Managing Editor of Boardroom. Before joining the team, he was an editor and multimedia talent for several sports and culture verticals at Minute Media and an editor, reporter, and site manager at SB Nation. A specialist in content strategy, copywriting, and SEO, he has additionally worked as a digital consultant in the corporate services, retail, and tech industries. He cannot be expected to be impartial on any matter regarding the Florida Gators or Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter @RealFakeSamDunn.