Android Draws Antitrust Complaint in South Korea
Google’s been slapped with another antitrust complaint abroad, this time in South Korea.
Daum Communications and NHN—which runs Naver, the country’s leading search engine—today called for South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission to investigate Google for allegedly limiting access to local search engines on Android smartphones.
About seven out of ten new phones sold in the country run Android, which offers Google’s search engine as a default, and Daum and NHN claims that’s stifling competition.
“Smartphones using Google’s free Android operating system have Google’s search engine installed as a default navigation tool and are systematically designed to make it virtually impossible to switch to another option,” NHN said in a statement. “This limits opportunities for companies offering similar services to compete on a level playing field, restricts consumers’ choices and discourages the growth of the mobile internet market as telecoms operators and handset makers will not be encouraged to offer differentiated products and services.”
Google denied the accusations.
“Android is an open platform, and carrier partners are free to decide which applications and services to include on their Android phones,” the company said. “But we absolutely do not require carriers or manufacturers to include Google Search on Android-powered devices.”