Google's Seoul Office

Google’s Seoul Office Raided by Regulators

Google's Seoul OfficeThe Korean Fair Trade Commission raided Google Inc. office in Seoul on Tuesday, Korea in association with the reported unfair trade in mobile search engine market in South Korea, according to the person with the very familiar knowledge of the matter on Wednesday, but he declined in giving further details on the raid.

NHN Corp., Local Internet portal operators and Daum Communications Corp. filed a complaint with the FTC last April against Google for allegedly restraining their access to smartphones that are handling the Android operating system.

NHN and Daum, owners of the search portal Naver, called the antitrust regulator to examine the claims that Google is limiting Android smartphones and local mobile service providers from loading mobile search portals in smartphones.

The Android smartphones sold in Korea are provided with Google’s search engine as a default and Korean search portals says this will be convenient for smartphone user to use a different search window.

A spokesman from NHN stated, “It does not allow fair competition among search engines if Android-based smartphone users come across Google Search whenever they touch the search engine icon, whether they want it or not,”

Google Inc. did not confirm the said raid last Tuesday but they said it would cooperate with the investigations.

A spokesman from Google stated, “We will work with the KFTC to address any questions they may have about our business,” he also added, “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 investigation follows the raid that also happened last May in Google’s Seoul office with the accusations that AdMob by Google was used for illegally collecting private data about the users geographical locations.