Korean Regulators Raid Google Over Android Practices

| News

 

Android Frisk

Korean regulators raided Google’s Korean offices on Tuesday. The Korean Fair Trade Commission was reportedly looking for information regarding Google’s Android practices on antitrust concerns, and Google told AllThingsD that it was cooperating with the Commission.

 

“We will work with the KFTC to address any questions they may have about our business,” Google said in a statement. “Android is an open platform, and carrier and OEM partners are free to decide which applications and services to include on their Android phones. We do not require carriers or manufacturers to include Google Search or Google applications on Android-powered devices.”

The Korean government has very close ties to the country’s businesses, including Samsung and LG, two of Google’s largest Android licensees. Tuesday’s raid comes in the wake of the U.S.-based company’s announcement that it—Google—will purchase Motorola Mobility, a U.S. handset maker in direct competition with Samsung, LG, and other Android licensees.

It’s not yet known the exact nature of the KFC’s—oops, we mean the KFTC’s—concerns when it comes to the smartphone operating system. Android has become the world’s #1 smartphone platform, but it has far from even monopoly power, let alone an actual monopoly, or even a majority share. Apple’s iPhone platform owns 25% (or more, depending on whose numbers you want to see), while Research In Motion’s Blackberry owns another 25% (or less, depending on whose numbers you cite).

In other words, it’s difficult to understand how antitrust could be an issue at this stage of the smartphone game, at least in American terms. Korean antitrust regulation could well be an entirely different kind of beast.

Sign Up for the Newsletter

Join the TMO Express Daily Newsletter to get the latest Mac headlines in your e-mail every weekday.

11 Comments Leave Your Own

geoduck

Great graphic

Lee Dronick

Ya beat me to it geoduck

JB

“..a U.S. handset maker in direct competition with Samsung…”, etc.  Not “in direct cooperation with”.

RonMacGuy

I agree, great graphic, except I would have added both a wet spot as well as a brown spot - the Korean Government is pretty scary!!

aardman

Google is in a world of hurt lately.  I guess if your business model is premised on ‘borrowing’ other people’s intellectual property (without their permission, heh heh), you won’t make a lot of friends.

Lee Dronick

Google announces a new product, The Cavity Search, it looks for hidden files.

RonMacGuy

Google is in a world of hurt lately.? I guess if your business model is premised on ?borrowing? other people?s intellectual property (without their permission, heh heh), you won?t make a lot of friends.

aardman, please don’t bring up the issue of google breaking Linux?s GPL v2 license - I can’t survive another round of that one!!

If you don’t understand what I am talking about, take a look at the 99 or so comments in the Sep 1 TMO article entitled “I?m Not Liking Google Much These Days”!! Fun stuff!!

RonMacGuy

Google announces a new product, The Cavity Search, it looks for hidden files.

Sir Harry, I thought it was called “Google A$$”!!

wab95

I have a feeling that there is more to this story than is obvious. Someone is sending Google a message, which I am confident the local office understood quite clearly.

Bowzer

?Android is an open platform, and carrier and OEM partners are free to decide which applications and services to include on their Android phones. We do not require carriers or manufacturers to include Google Search or Google applications on Android-powered devices.?

Hey Eric… just because you may not require a carrier to use your search app, and you saying that Andro is “open”, doesn’t make it so…  sheesh.

Zadoc

I don’t think Google is a monopoly. Governments of the world should step back until Google does something that resembles unfair market practices.

POLL: Is Google a monopoly?
Vote: http://www.wepolls.com/p/2243314

Log-in to comment