SEOUL, Sept 14 (AFP): South Korea's antitrust watchdog fined Google nearly $180 million on Tuesday for abusing its dominance in the mobile operating systems and app markets, it said, the latest in a series of regulatory moves against tech giants around the world.
The penalty came weeks after South Korea passed a law banning major app store operators such as Google and Apple from forcing software developers to use their payment systems, effectively declaring their lucrative Play Store and App Store monopolies illegal.
And last week a US judge ordered Apple to loosen control over its App Store payment system in an antitrust battle with Fortnite maker Epic Games.
Google and Apple dominate the online app market in South Korea, the world's 12th largest economy and known for its technological prowess.
The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has investigated Google since 2016 for allegedly preventing local smartphone makers such as Samsung Electronics from customising its Android OS.
It said Google hampered market competition through an "anti-fragmentation agreement" preventing smartphone makers installing modified versions of Android, known as "Android forks", on their devices.
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