South Korea starts to probe Google
South Korean antitrust regulator inspected Google's Seoul headquarters as the company is faced abuse of market dominance. The investigate concerned whether the firm is engaged in anticompetitive behavior over its Android operating system, Yonhap News Agency reported on Thursday.
Yonhap news agency reported that officials from the Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) inspected Google’s Seoul offices last week. This is part of a probe into whether the company is unfairly forcing smartphone makers to use its Android operating system.
Regulators began looking into the matter after the European Union brought charges against Google for anticompetitive behavior earlier this year. KFTC conducted an on-site inspection at Google's South Korean headquarters but declined to elaborate further. Google and the KFTC declined to comment.
The KFTC has investigated Google before. Five years ago it filed charges over complaints by Seoul-based search engine operators that Google was forcing handset makers to preload Google’s search app on their Android-powered smartphones. In 2013, the KFTC cleared Google of wrongdoing after a two-year investigation on whether the company hurt competition by forcing smartphone makers using Android to pre-load its search engine on the handsets.