South Korea’s antitrust regulator, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), has fined Google 42.1 billion won ($31.88 million) for blocking mobile video games on a competitor’s platform. Google required video game makers to release their titles exclusively on Google Play in exchange for in-app exposure between June 2016 and April 2018. This action hurt the local app market One Store’s revenue and value as a platform.
Google said it will review the KFTC’s decision and evaluate its next course of action. A spokesperson stated that they disagree with the KFTC’s conclusions, as Google invests significantly in the success of developers. The KFTC’s move is part of the government’s efforts to ensure fair markets.
Game makers affected by Google’s action include Netmarble, Nexon, and NCSOFT, as well as other smaller companies. In 2021, Google was fined more than 200 billion won by the KFTC for blocking customized versions of its Android operating system.
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