To resolve this problem, Google tried to limit the number of forks available by coming to agreements with handset makers, but now it looks like the company is being punished for their efforts. This is according to the South Korean Fair Trade Commission who slapped Google with a whopping $177 million fine for abusing their smartphone dominance.
Apparently it seems that the measures Google took to cut down on the number of Android forks was a bit too much for the watchdog’s taste. Apparently one of the ways Google ensured handset manufacturers agreed to their rules was that they might be restricted from using Google’s apps if they refused.
According to KFTC Chairperson Joh Sung-wook, “The Fair Trade Commission’s action was not limited to mobile devices, but corrective measures included emerging smart device-related areas such as smart watches and smart TVs. Therefore, we expect that new innovations will occur as some competitive pressures in this area are activated.”
Google is now expected to no longer be allowed to force manufacturers to sign such agreements, and that existing contracts need to be modified to make sure they fall in line with the ruling.