Monday, 24 April, 2017

Google Opens Android to Search Rivals in Russian Federation

Russia, Google reach $7.8 million settlement on Android case Google won't preload its apps in Russia after antitrust settlement
Cecilia Poole | 18 April, 2017, 00:45

"Under the terms of the settlement, 55 million Russian Android users will be offered a choice of search engines on their mobile devices". They are also working on a Chrome widget for future devices. "We are excited to have reached a solution that restores these necessary elements to ensure a more dynamic and competitive ecosystem", Volozh said in a statement. The settlement will help eliminate the violations of the antimonopoly legislation previously detected by the FAS Russia and will ensure competition on markets of mobile applications, especially mobile search.

On September 14, 2015 the Federal Antimonopoly Service recognized Google Inc. and Google Ireland Ltd.as having breached the competition protection law under the complaint of the Russian Internet company Yandex.

But the FAS had argued that, despite its denials, Google was indeed "prohibiting" rival software to its own YouTube, Maps and Photos apps to be pre-installed alongside its own dominant version of Android. In addition, Google will not be able to demand that other competing search engines and apps can not be installed. Google noted it continues to work with FAS on technical execution of their orders. Google had been appealing the ruling prior to the settlement.

Courts of two levels upheld the validity of the FAS Russia's decision. Russian antitrust regulators also fined the company $7.8 million.

Per the terms of the settlement, Google must ditch those restrictions in the country.

The Web giant in a statement to Engadget said it is "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 devices running Android now being used in the Russian Federation territory will receive a "selection Window" for the Chrome browser after the next software update that will give users a choice to change their setting to run another search engine.

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