Korea Reviewing Antitrust Laws Due To Google, Facebook

The government of South Korea is currently in the process of reviewing a number of antitrust regulations in the country due to Google and Facebook, i.e. the business models of the two companies. Chairman of the Korea Fair Trade Commission (FTC) Kim Sang-jo recently revealed that the two U.S. tech giants may be forced to pay for network infrastructure in the country or be sanctioned for some of their activities in another manner due to the fact that they have strongly affected the current market structure in the Far Eastern country, consequently endangering the concept of fair trade and competition. The FTC must strive to revamp the country's economy by any means and — if necessary — decide to implement significantly stronger oversight measures aimed at limiting the power of foreign tech companies operating in the country, Kim said.

The state agency is currently reviewing a number of regulations pertaining to fair competition, as revealed by its Chairman, though no specifics on the matter have yet been given. Google just endured a major legal defeat in another antitrust case in Europe, with the European Commission proclaiming the company to be a monopoly and serving it with by far the largest fine for anti-competitive behavior that was ever issued on the Old Continent. The Mountain View, California-based Internet giant also had recent issues with the South Korean government on a different front, with local authorities systematically preventing the firm from maintaining a functional version of Google Maps in the country, citing national security reasons. Likewise, the FTC is currently investigating Google over potential antitrust violations due to the company's insistence that all Android devices in the country need to ship with its Google app.

Facebook lately clashed with a number of broadband and mobile service providers in South Korea, demanding that they expand their networks so that the social media giant can adapt to the sudden surge in demand for its services. Kim seemingly believes that U.S. tech giants shouldn't reap such massive profits that are largely backed by their efforts to collect user data when they're doing so through a locally funded infrastructure and are even resorting to aggressive pressuring methods, with Facebook recently shutting down its Korean servers in protest to its aforementioned demand being denied. Both U.S. companies have previously dismissed all allegations against them, claiming they aren't breaking any existing rules in the Far Eastern country.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]