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Google Play faces allegations of market abuse in South Korea

South Korean FTC begins survey of mobile companies to uncover alleged abuses

Google Play is under investigation in South Korea for allegedly abusing its position in the market to pressure game developers into publish on its platform only.

According to The Korea Herald, the South Korean Fair Trade Commission has begun surveying local mobile game companies to review whether the allegations have merit.

The Korean FTC is also investigating whether game companies faced negative consequences if they did not agree to launch on Google Play only.

Google already dominates the mobile market in South Korea, with around 90 per cent of the population using Android devices.

Last year, Google Play accounted for 60.7 per cent of mobile app content sales, with the majority of revenue coming from mobile games, according to the Korea Mobile Internet Industry Report 2017 (translated via Korea Herald).

Meanwhile the App Store accounted for 24.5 per cent while One Store -- a storefront native to Korea jointly operated SK Telecom, KT, LG Uplus, and Naver -- accounted for 11.6 percent.

Suspicions surrounding unfair business practices were raised last year after several major games, including NCSoft's Lineage M, and Netmarble Games' Lineage 2 Revolution, were launched in South Korea on Google Play and the App Store, but not One Store.

Many games did eventually appear on One Store, but only after a period of availability on Google play and the App Store.

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