S. Korea FTC Raids Google Over Android Practices


The Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) raided Google’s Seoul offices, according to an individual familiar with the matter, starting on Tuesday. The KFTC planned on conducting their raid for evidence and information on the 6th and 7th. It has yet to be confirmed whether the raid has officially concluded.

The reason for the raid was a claim from NHN Corp and Daum Communications Corp, two Korean companies involved with search engines in that country, that Google is engaged in anticompetitive practices with their Android operating system. The claim stated that Google’s pre-installation of Google software on the Android OS, as well as features of Android that are “systematically designed” to make switching to another search provider difficult, are anti-competitive.

“We will work with the KFTC to address any questions they may have about our business,” Google said in a statement in response to the claim and subsequent raid. Google further explained that, “Android is an open platform, and carrier and OEM partners are free to decide which applications and services to include on their Android phones. We do not require carriers or manufacturers to include Google Search or Google applications on Android-powered devices.”

This is the second raid in South Korea in less than six months; Google was also raided by police in August 2010 for illegally grabbing and storing data as part of Street View. Google’s Seoul offices were previously raided in May. That raid investigated claims of Google’s AdMob taking location data from users without permission.

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