It appears that Google’s Seoul offices have been raided today by Korean trustbusters looking for information on the possible stoppering of search opponents in the company’s mobile operating system Android. Search engine company NHN (popular in the area) and Daum Communications this past April asked the country’s Fair Trade Commission to investigate Google’s mobile search business practices. It appears that this request may well have been the source of the raid this week, and Google has responded with compliance and assurances to the public that they’ve got no ill willing code in play that would make their OS an unfair playing field.
It appears that other mobile device manufacturers in South Korea have also raised questions about restrictions Google has placed on their Android mobile OS. Of course we all know this to be preposterous, if I do say so myself, as any restrictions put on Android of course come only with a carrier or manufacturer’s wish to carry the Android Marketplace. Android is an open-source operating system which any group can use to create a device, and Google offers a certain package of requirements on the back end IF a manufacturer or carrier does so desire it. Aka this set of requirements is not necessarily required.
Google has released information in a statement, part of which reads as follows:
“We will work with the KFTC to address any questions they may have about our business. 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.” – Google
Just this past May the same Google office in Seoul was the target of a raid by South Korean police, this time on suspicion that one sect of Google’s mobile advertising outfit was illegally collecting personal location data. This would have been, said the Korean police at the time, and according to Rueters, “without consent or approval from the Korean Communication Commission.”
We must of course turn our attention back to the post we posted a few days ago, that being one on how the South Korean government is very likely looking into developing their own mobile OS based on Android. How this situation and that situation could possibly both be in effect without being related to one another is nearly unfathomable. How and why this whole situation is going down without the evil eye pointed directly at it is another situation entirely.