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Google Fined by South Korea for Blocking Rival’s Games

An antitrust regulator from South Korea fined Alphabet Inc’s Google for restricting the launch of mobile video games on a rival’s platform.

The tech company was fined $31.88 million. According to Korea’s Fair Trade Commission, the firm was utilizing its clout in the mobile app market to push away a competitor.

Moreover, Google reportedly attempted to block the Korean platform rival One Store Co.’s business development. Allegedly, it asked the Asian country’s major game companies to launch their new games in the Play Store. 

These include NCSoft Corp., Netmarble Corp., and smaller Chinese companies. It responds to Google for promoting its games and getting support abroad.

Furthermore, the actions started in June 2016 when One Store opened in Korea. It continued until April 2018, when watchdogs released the probe based on a regulator’s statement.

As a result, the activities weakened One Store’s power to attract new games, leading to a plunge in sales. On the other hand, Google reached $1.36 billion in sales.

According to analysts, the tech company’s intention saw the Asian firm as a competitor, causing its intentions to exclude it.

In addition, Korean regulators requested Google LLC, Google Korea, and Google Asia Pacific to halt support to mobile game companies. This effort is a deal for promises of exclusivity.

Software Updates Ended by Google for Older Devices

Google would stop software updates for some third-party models, such as those from Lenovo, LG, and JBL. 

It discreetly reported the alterations in a support document for Duo, which is Google’s video calling application.

However, why the tech firm is halting the software updates remains unclear. Besides, all the affected products were released in 2018, meaning updates would not be worth the effort.

Also, it mentioned it would stop supporting its Nest Secure and Dropcam next year for similar reasons.

Its support document alerts that the end of software updates can affect the quality of video calls and meetings. Therefore, the products would still function, but the experience might weaken.

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