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Google Accused of Interfering With South Korean FTC Investigation 186

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the only-do-evil-occasionally dept.
New submitter DCTech writes "South Korea's Fair Trade Commission is accusing Google of methodically interfering with an anti-competition investigation into Android. 'Google deleted files and made its employees work from home in an attempt to frustrate the investigation, alleges the commission in an interview with a South Korean newspaper [machine translation]. The non-cooperation allegedly came after Google's Seoul office was raided by the commission's officials in September. The anti-competition probers were looking into whether Google's Android phones unfairly prioritize Google search and are "systematically designed" to make it difficult to switch to another option'. Now the South Korean watchdog is considering maximum fines for Google's non-compliance. Google is currently under investigation for similar anti-competition issues in Europe and the U.S."
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Google Accused of Interfering With South Korean FTC Investigation

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  • Android is Open... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jesseck (942036) on Monday January 09, 2012 @01:30PM (#38639140)

    Since Android is open, the device manufacturers / Microsoft / South Korea / Anyone Else can modify it to not use Google for search results. At that point it may not be "Android Powered by Google", but that seems to be what South Korea wants. So, let device manufacturers modify Android, change the default search provider, and not include GApps. That way, every person who purchases a new phone gets to install a market, search for packages to do what they need, and the world will be happier since the monopoly has been crushed.

    Of course this will never happen... South Korea isn't breaking up a "monopoly". They see a chance to extort money from another business, and use the "monopoly" threat to do so. They do this because the device manufacturers won't abandon Google's version of Android- it's exactly what 99% of their (the device manufacturers) customers want. Pre-installed apps, GMail, Facebook, and the Google Marketplace so they can easily find the latest app their friend told them about./P.

  • by slack_justyb (862874) on Monday January 09, 2012 @01:31PM (#38639142)
    Actually it's pretty cut and dry here. I really don't see room for question. The main problem that South Korea has with Android is that magnifying glass in the top left corner. You tap it and it seems to only get its results from either local machine or Google.com. The first isn't the problem and neither is the second. What the problem seems to be is that there doesn't see a way to change where Internet results as received from.

    Now this wouldn't have been that big a fuss, if someone hadn't made such a big fuss about IE being so tightly integrated with Bing, which it really isn't but I digress; that's really a different conversation altogether. Anyway, so if we are going to slap Microsoft's hands for IE/Bing, then we need to slap the hands of Android/Google.

    Also the South Korean office of Google's has been pretty up in arms as of late. Now this one office could or could not be a representation of Google as a whole, again that's up for debate and not really what I came to comment on. However, it is clear that Google's South Korean office has been acting a bit mighty fishy and the one thing police don't like is when people start acting funny.

    However, I agree, I think Google should provide some options for changing up the search engine for the search button. It's not like I would ever change it, but it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside when I get options.

    Now I know what people would say about Google and Android tied together like they are, but we have to remember, tablet's and phone's are being held as the way casual computing is heading. Now a lot wasn't done until after the fact with Microsoft and ever since their antitrust case, I think people have been trigger happy to protect end-users. When in reality I think that the people who proclaim to be protecting end-users seem to understand computers less. Anyway, this shouldn't come as a surprise.

    I'd be surprised if South Korea actually did the same thing to say Apple! Apple usually argues that their stuff isn't a phone or a tablet or a computer. It's an Apple product and changing the options, search, or OS on an Apple product is like asking a microwave maker to provide a method for installing custom software on their microwave.

    Anyway, not trying to start a war here. Just wanted to say: 1. Not surprised, 2. S. Korean office is indeed acting fishy which tends to agitate police.
  • by Smallpond (221300) on Monday January 09, 2012 @01:36PM (#38639210) Homepage Journal

    3) Google doesn't have a slimy history of creating contracts with PC makers excluding the bundling of products that aren't made by Google. .

    To catch up, google "skyhook lawsuit".

  • by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Monday January 09, 2012 @02:03PM (#38639552) Journal

    Use cute and soft names and marketing. Hey, it's AdChoices, so there's clearly choices for advertisers!

    Carl Rove used that technique a lot. IIRC one that stands out was one of GW Bush's assaults on the EPA that they gave a warm fuzzy name to. Something like 'green environment policy'. That name is probably way off, but it is the idea. And then they say it over and over in the media until the (generally lazy) public believes it, even though they were doing the harmful opposite.

  • by Mr. McGibby (41471) on Monday January 09, 2012 @03:31PM (#38640662) Homepage Journal

    Actually it's pretty cut and dry here. I really don't see room for question. The main problem that South Korea has with Android is that magnifying glass in the top left corner. You tap it and it seems to only get its results from either local machine or Google.com. The first isn't the problem and neither is the second. What the problem seems to be is that there doesn't see a way to change where Internet results as received from.

    You're thinking about this backwards. That's not monopoly abuse because they don't have a monopoly in mobile operating systems. You have to be abusing a monopoly position to impact competition. They're not in the case you cited. How exactly are they using their monopoly in *search* to keep Android competition out? If you can't fill in the blanks of "Google is using their monopoly in ___ to keep the competition out of ___.", then you don't have a case.

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