Russia, Google Reach $7.8 Million Settlement on Android Case

Forget Google, Uber, Amazon and Spotify. In Russia, Yandex rules
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18 April, 2017

"We are happy to have reached a commercial agreement with Yandex and a settlement with Russia's competition regulator, the Federal Antimonopoly Service, resolving the competition case over the distribution of Google apps on Android", a Google spokesperson said in a statement. The company was found guilty of abusing its dominant position in the market for mobile devices running on Android.

Google "will be obliged not to restrict pre-installation of any competing search engines and applications" on its Android operating system in Russian Federation, the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service said on its website on Monday.

In August 2016, FAS fined Google 438 million rubles (over $7.8 million) which was part of the settlement reached on Monday.

Google Inc. has agreed to no longer restrict the preinstallation of applications on smartphones running its Android operating system sold in Russian Federation to settle allegations that it abused its dominance in the marketplace, the country's antitrust regulator said Monday. It should enable Yandex to reach commercial agreements with mobile-phone makers and expand its share of search on Android devices in Russian Federation, he said.

"Today is an important day for Russian consumers as Google has agreed to take significant steps that open up its Android platform in Russia", Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh said in a statement. Google's commercial settlement with Yandex is separate from its legal settlement with the regulator.

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Google agreed to make one-off payment of the 438 mln rubles ($7.8 mln) fine and two fines of 500,000 rubles ($8,900) each imposed on affiliates of the United States corporation - Google Inc. and Google Ireland Ltd.

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.

That includes Yandex, the Russian internet firm and Google rival which first brought the complaint. The addition of a choice window provides users with the opportunity to choose their default search engine.

"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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