Google Takes Two-track Approach to Stricter Regulations | Be Korea-savvy

Google Takes Two-track Approach to Stricter Regulations

The lobby of Google Korea headquarters in Seoul (Yonhap)

The lobby of Google Korea headquarters in Seoul (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Dec. 21 (Korea Bizwire) In response to regulatory moves in South Korean political and governmental circles that are focusing on Google Inc.’s commission policy, the U.S. tech giant is taking a two-track approach of seeking conciliatory dialogue and increasing pressure.

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) is known to have submitted an evaluation report after completing its investigation into the allegations that Google restricted competition in the market.

The FTC is also engaged in investigation of another allegation that Google hindered the business of other app markets by making popular games available only at its app market, Google Play.

The Ministry of Science and ICT has begun its fact-finding investigation of app developers over Google’s commission policy.

On one hand, Google appears to be bowing to such pressure. It has released a string of measures to appease the nation’s IT industry.

Just like Apple Inc. does, Google is known to be reviewing the idea of cutting Google Play fees for small developers. Google is likely to announce the new commission policy sometime next year.

Prior to this move, Google also delayed Play Store commission fee increases in the domestic market, while launching a 100 billion won (US$90.7 million) ‘Create Program’ to support the growth of local digital content ecosystem.

On the other hand, however, Google is increasing pressure on the nation’s political and governmental communities.

Google hired a large law firm to prevent the enactment of the so-called Google Gapjil Prevention Act during the National Assembly’s autumn session. Google’s all-out efforts were backed by the U.S. Embassy in South Korea.

“Gapjil” is Korean jargon that refers to harassment and abuse by a person in a more powerful position.

This strategy paid off. South Korea’s main opposition People Power Party, which was originally in favor of passing the law, shifted its stance and suddenly took a more prudent approach, making it uncertain if the law could be passed in the future.

J. S. Shin (

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