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Watchdog to beef up probe into unfair biz activity by platform operators

All News 12:00 June 07, 2021

SEOUL, June 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's antitrust regulator said Monday it has set up a division to better investigate alleged unfair business activity related to digital ads by online platform operators.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) said it has established a division in charge of digital advertisements under its ICT team amid growing influence by platform operators, such as Google and Facebook, in the customer-tailored online ads market.

Established in November 2019, the ICT team has mainly conducted probes into alleged competition-hampering activities by online platform operators, with four divisions under its wing, including those on app markets and online to offline platforms.

The new division will look into whether platform operators require app developers and other contractors not to run adds on their competitors when they provide services. It will also probe into alleged illegal collection of user data.

The KFTC also said it will strengthen its probe into alleged unfair business practice involving in-app digital goods purchases to better protect app developers and consumers.

The regulator has been investigating whether Google has abused its market dominant status with its new billing policy. Google earlier announced a plan to charge a 30 percent fee to all app developers over in-app digital content purchases in South Korea.

This photo, provided by Yonhap News TV, shows the exterior of the Korea Fair Trade Commission in the central administrative city of Sejong. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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