South Korea’s FTC Clears Google Of Unfairly Using Android For Search
It looks like Google has won another antitrust battle, this time in South Korea. The country’s antitrust watchdog has reportedly decided to acquit Google on charges that it has used its Android operating system to gain an unfair advantage for its search business.
Korean Internet operators NHN Corp. and Daum Communications Corp. had filed complaints with the country’s Fair Trade Commission in early 2011, suggesting that Google was forcing its search engine as the default on Android phones, and undermining antitrust law.
The FTC had reviewed the case and came to the conclusion to dismiss the charges, saying that Google’s preload requirement does not restrict market competition as argued by NHN and Daum Communications.
“Before and after Google’s push to force the preload of the Android operating system, its domestic market share remains almost unchanged at around 10 percent, while Naver (the portal of NHN) still maintains more than 70 percent,” an FTC official said on condition of anonymity… This does not satisfy the competition-restricting condition, which is one of the major issues of this case.”
The European Commission, which is still waiting on Google to revise proposals in an antitrust probe unrelated to Android, is also said to be looking into whether or not the operating system gives Google an unfair advantage in its search business as well.
While Google has settled one antitrust probe in with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the FTC is said to be eyeing a separate probe into Google’s display advertising business.