Google’s anti-trust case, in EU and Korea

EU’s decision that Google violated antitrust law by abusing its dominant power backlashes against Korean Fair Trade Committee (FTC).

EU accused Google of setting its own search engine as a default search tool on Android devices and pre-installing Google’s own apps such as Maps and Play Store, which effectively blocked the competition.

That’s exactly the same complaint Korean domestic  internet companies filed for KFTC. After a few years of investigations, KFTC decided that Google was not guilty of antitrust law in Korea in 2013.

Some Korean media opened fire for KFTC arguing that it should have accused Google of antitrust activities. KFTC was not strong enough in pushing Google for levying punishment, the sentiment goes.

At that time, KFTC found Google not guilty because smartphone users can switch to other search engines or apps with a single touch. The fact that Korean tech companies including Naver, Daum and Kakao continuously increased its presence despite the Android’s dominant in Korean market also influenced KFTC’s decision.

(Though they all had hard times in competing with mobile super-power Google, and Daum got caught by Google in terms of the share of mobile search queries.)

It’s hard to tell whether Google was fair or unfair enough in playing their mobile game.

But one thing for sure is that Europe has nothing to lose even if they charged Google or get some burden for tech companies.

While there are no European tech companies to compete with Google, Microsoft or Apple, Korea has some strong domestic alternatives for them. Naver is a far-front leading search engine with more than 70% of market share. Kakao attracted virtually every Korean smartphone users with its mobile messenger KakaoTalk.

And Samsung, hands in hands with Google, emerged as a number 1 smartphone manufacturer both in Korean and global market.  Those are among some reasons KFTC made a different decision 3 years ago with that of EU today for virtually identical issues.

Chances are KFTC may review their decision in comparison with EU, it doesn’t seem Korean tech companies will be very interested in the antitrust issue.

Naver is a time-proven leader in a search engine and busy for expanding its Line business to abroad. Kakao is struggling for its new on-demand drive, and Daum was acquired by Kakao. No time for looking behind?


Galaxy S3 will be unveiled in April

Galaxy S3, the newest product of Samsung flagship smartphone line-ups, will be launched in London event held in April, according to a report.  The report said Samsung would begin to ship the products shortly after the launching event.

Samsung did not unveil the much-expected smartphone at MWC 2012 held in Barcelona, Spain last week. Mr. Choi, the CEO of Samsung Electronics, said they did not launch the Galaxy S3 on MWC to prevent the copycats.

There are rumors that Samsung is still testing which quad-core application processors they’ll use.

Can I upload video to Youtube with my iPhone?

Some of you may know that you cannot upload videos clips and replies to Youtube in Korea.

It is because Korean law that requires every internet services with more than 100,000 users per day should confirm users’ identity to upload a posts  or replies. Once you identify yourself, then you can write  with your nickname.

Rather than complying with Korean regulations, Google Korea chose to block uploading from Korea in April 2009 when it approached the 100,000 user bar. “Don’t be evil.”

But don’t worry. You can upload videos or replies by simply changing your ‘Country Preference’ to another countries other than Korea.

Still annoyed? Then why don’t you take a shoot with your iPhone and send it to Youtube? It is no problem to send a video clip from your iPhone.

Nobody cared whether you could upload a video to Youtube with iPhone in Korea, till Google removed Youtube upload function from Motorola ‘Droid’, the first smartphone with Google’s Android OS in Korea. Google removed the functions over the concern for the Korean user-identifying regulation.

After the iPhone-to-Youtube issue aroused, KT, the Korean carrier which provides iPhone, considered blocking video uploading from iPhone. KT also postponed launch of new Android smartphone from LG Electronics because it had the direct Youtube uploading function.

But the chances are it ends up with just a silly fuss, as Korean Communication Commission (KCC) does not take it seriously. “Youtube is not subject to the Korean regulation that requires user identification because videos uploaded from iPhone go directly to Youtube global site, and Google Korea is not involved in the operation of Youtube,” said an official of KCC.