South Korea’s regulator set to take steps against Google over YouTube bundling allegations

Seoul: South Korea’s antitrust regulator is expected to take punitive steps against Google regarding allegations that it has unfairly bundled YouTube’s music service with its premium subscription programme, officials said on Monday.

The tech giant was accused of providing the YouTube Music streaming service to users of the ad-free YouTube premium programme without additional charges in violation of the fair transaction law, and the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has carried out an on-site probe since February last year.

After a months-long investigation, the FTC recently presented a review report that calls for punitive measures against Google before making a decision through an envisioned plenary meeting, reports Yonhap News Agency.

Officials have said the probe was focused on whether Google has abused its market dominance by implementing such a practice and that it has restricted fair competition in the industry.

Some have pointed out that the bundling has helped boost the number of YouTube subscribers and, over the course, has limited consumers’ choices and unfairly hindered the businesses of other music streamers.

“We are working to wrap up the investigation and other necessary procedures in July and come up with a final decision in weeks or so,” an FTC official said.


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