S.Korean antitrust agency fines Google $177 mln for abusing market dominance

SEOUL, Sept 14 (Reuters) - South Korea’s antitrust regulator on Tuesday fined Alphabet Inc’s Google 207 billion won ($176.64 million), saying the U.S. technology giant abused its dominant market position to restrict competition in the mobile operating system market.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) investigated Google for allegedly blocking local smartphone makers from using other operating systems.

The fine is the latest antitrust setback for Google in South Korea. Earlier this month, parliament passed a bill to ban major app store operators such as Google from forcing software developers to use their payment systems and effectively stopping developers from charging commission on in-app purchases.

KFTC said the fine could be the ninth-biggest it has ever imposed.

Google was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday. ($1 = 1,171.8500 won) (Reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Christopher Cushing)