Google won't preload its apps in Russia after antitrust settlement

by Linda Olson April 18, 2017, 2:03
Google won't preload its apps in Russia after antitrust settlement

FAS ruled in 2015 that Google was abusing its dominance by requiring the pre-installation of certain applications on mobile devices using Android, following a complaint by Russia's Yandex which has struggled to grow its share of the mobile search market.

While Android is an open platform, core parts of the operating system aren't, including Google's app store.

The agreement was announced today by Alexei Dostenko, deputy head of Russia's Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, according to Russian news reports.

Within 60 days of the settlement's approval, FAS also says, all the interested Russian search engines should have the opportunity to address Google about being included in the choice screen next year. Google was fined with 438 million rubles (about $6.7 million).

Under the settlement, Google can not stop smartphone makers from pre-installing competing search engine apps on their devices.

Google reported that, in addition to an amicable agreement with Russia's anti-trust regulator, it entered into a commercial agreement with the Yandex company.

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"We are happy to have reached a commercial agreement with Yandex and a settlement with Russia's competition regulator", a Google spokesperson said in a statement. While Chrome allows users to easily change the search engine, there is no way at the system-level to have easy access to another engine.

Google will now likely lose considerable market share in search to Yandex, with filed the original suit.

"Competition breeds innovation", Volozh writes.

Google representatives didn't immediately respond to requests for comments on the settlement. The new widget will let users choose their default search engine on the home screen, whether it's Google or Yandex or another provider.

"We managed to find a balance between the necessity to develop the Android ecosystem and interests of third-party developers for promoting their mobile applications and services on Android-based devices".


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