Η South Korea Fair Trade Commission (FTC) fined Naver $ 23 million after the company allegedly "manipulated" the algorithm to give preference to its own services and its own content, in relation to the respective benefits of its competitors. The FTC says the South Korean search giant manipulated its algorithm six times between 2012 and 2015 to show its services, such as the Smart Store and Naver TV, topped the search results, while sabotaging its competitors such as 11th Street and Gmarket.
These manipulations allowed Naver to increase its online market share markets from 2015 to 2018, according to the FTC. During this period, Naver increased its market share from 5% in 2015 to 21% in 2018. Instead, its competitors saw their market share decline over the same period.
Naver's actions fostered unfair competition against its competitors and fair trade practices, the FTC said. The Commission therefore ordered Naver to take corrective action meters. It is worth noting that the fine imposed on Naver is the highest fine ever imposed on a service Internet of South Korea.
On the other hand, the South Korean search giant said in a statement that it intends to appeal the FTC decision, saying that the result was "sad" and has affected business activities the company's.
According to Naver, the changes to its algorithm were not aimed at excluding its competitors, but were made to show the best results in order to meet the needs of consumers. Naver also noted that it changed its algorithm 50 times between 2010 and 2017, while the FTC deliberately chose to show only a few of these cases.