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South Korea's Fair Trade Commission raids Google offices

updated 11:07 pm EDT, Wed May 30, 2012

Search engine result restriction alleged, evidence sought

The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has raided Google's offices in Seoul, Korea on Monday. This is the third raid on the search giant's Korean headquarters in just over a year. The KFTC is continuing an Android-related antitrust investigation spearheaded by two local search engine's complaints about Android tampering with search results, favoring Google businesses and advertising providers.

In its previous raid, the KFTC searched the premises for evidence that Google was limiting access to local search engines on Android-powered phones. The repeat raid is likely for the same reason, though full details have yet to surface. Google claims full cooperation with the KFTC and denied assertions that it has hindered the investigation in any way. The commission suggests Google deleted documents and, while the searches were occurring, asked employees to telecommute in order to work while avoiding presence at the offices.

The investigation originated from complaints in September by Korean search engine companies NHN and Daum Communications. The US Federal Trade Commission's complaint against Google was for similar reasons. Previous raids were instigated first because of Android location tracking contrary to Korean Communications Commission regulations, and the second for anti-competitive search practices. [via All Things D]




by MacNN Staff

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