Google Opens Android to Search Rivals in Russian Federation

Lynne Hanson
April 18, 2017

As stated above, Google has agreed not to "limit or impede" the pre-installation of third-party applications on devices.

That includes Yandex, the Russian internet firm and Google rival which first brought the complaint.

Google will develop an active "choice window" for the Chrome browser for devices now on the market, so that users can choose their default search engine when they next update their system, according to the FAS's statement.

In addition to paying a $7.8 million fine, Google has agreed to stop preventing phone manufacturers from changing the default search engine to anything but Google.

Google was hit with an anticompetitive lawsuit in Russian Federation over forcing its own search engine as default for Android phones sold with Google Services.

Now, as a result of the settlement deal, Google has pledged to no longer "demand exclusivity of its applications on Android-based devices in Russian Federation".

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The Russian antitrust watchdog said the settlement will help eliminate Google's violations of the antimonopoly legislation and will ensure competition in the market for mobile applications particularly mobile search.

We are happy to have reached a commercial agreement with Yandex and a settlement with Russia's competition regulator, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), resolving the competition case over the distribution of Google apps on Android.

The $7.8 million fine is roughly 9 percent of Google's 2014 revenue in Russian Federation. Google is battling against similar anti-trust cases in the European Union, where BT recently took the search giant's side. Yandex now holds a 55 percent share of the search market in Russian Federation, while Google clings to a 40 percent share. In a "few months", Google will have a home-screen search widget that will offer up any manner of search providers (yep, including Yandex) assuming they sign a commercial agreement for their inclusion in the query box.

Google will no longer enforce the parts of the previously signed agreements that contradict the terms of the settlement.

"The settlement will have a positive effect on the market as a whole", FAS head Igor Artemiev said. The company was found guilty of abusing its dominant position in the market for mobile devices running on Android.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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