South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating Google over allegations the firm forced smartphone makers to use its Android operating system, Yonhap reported today.
According to the news agency, the antitrust regulator kicked off a second investigation of Google after the European Union (EU) brought charges against the company for anti-competitive behaviour earlier this year. Three years ago, after two years of investigations, the FTC cleared the search giant of charges that it restricted market competition by requiring handset vendors to preload Android on their smartphones.
The announcement comes just days after the FTC said that US chipmaker Qualcomm could be fined a record KRW1 trillion ($879 million) for breaching antitrust regulations. The agency has been investigating Qualcomm for 17 months.
“Qualcomm’s business model is still controversial because it charges excessively high licensing fees and requires unfair conditions for use of its patents,” The Korea Times quoted an FTC official as saying.
In an unrelated case, Google parent Alphabet is challenging the South Korean government over restrictions to its mapping services, which it says are outdated and limit its ability to offer a full range of mapping services, The Wall Street Journal reported.