S.Korea fines Google $177 mil. for OS restrictions

South Korean antitrust regulators have ordered Google to pay a fine of almost 177 million dollars. They say the US IT giant restricted competition by pressuring smartphone makers into installing its operating system. Google said it plans to appeal.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission said on Tuesday that Google's contracts required handset makers, including Samsung Electronics, not to ship devices loaded with operating systems other than Android OS.

The Commission found that Google's contract terms restricted competition by limiting the use of operating systems developed by other firms such as Amazon.

Reuters news agency reported that Google said the ruling ignores the benefits offered by Android's compatibility with other programs and would undermine advantages for consumers.

Governments around the world are stepping up regulation of huge US IT companies. In August, South Korea passed a law banning firms like Google from forcing the use of their in-app payment systems on software developers.