Moscow, April 18: Google, the company who rules the android market has finally submitted to Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service. They are going to pay 438 million rubles ($7.8 million) for violating antitrust laws. The complaint came from its Russian competitor Yandex who claimed Google was abusing its position in the market by forcing Android devices to pre-install certain apps.
In 2016 Google moved ahead of Yandex, Russia’s most popular online service. Google was taking the chance of Google’s android operating system by forcing phone manufacturers to pre-install its applications with the Android platform. Google was found guilty of breaking Russia’s Part 1 Article 10 of the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition”. Russian regulators set the fine at 9% of this giant company’s profit on the Russian market, 2014.
To prevent the loss from paying fine, Google challenged the penalty in appellate courts. Finally this week they have agreed to pay the fine and ended up with a voluntary settlement with FAS from the Moscow District Court of Arbitration.
As per the rule of settlements, Google will refrain from stimulating pre-installation of any Google app and no longer demand exclusivity of its apps on the android platforms in Russia. It will allow the third parties to include their search engines into the choice window. It is totally up to users that which search engine suits their needs and they can change it in settings.
“Implementation of the settlement’s terms will be an effective means to secure competition between developers of mobile applications. 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. The settlement’s execution will have a positive effect on the market as a whole while giving developers additional options for promoting their products,” – summarized Igor Artemiev, head of the FAS Russia in a press release of FAS.
Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh has written in his blog, “Today is an important day for Russian consumers as Google has agreed to take significant steps that open up its Android platform in Russia. Under the terms of the settlement, 55 million Russian Android users will be offered a choice of search engines on their mobile devices. Smartphone manufacturers will also have more freedom to select the apps that they preinstall on devices.”
Recognizing Google for their constructive role in Russian Market, he has thanked Google for their cooperation to maintain the value of openness.