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

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

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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.

Google will unbundle its services from its Android operating system in Russian Federation and pay a fine of 438 million rubles ($7.8 million) under the settlement reached with the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, Aleksey Dotsenko, the regulator's deputy head, told reporters on Monday. Not only is the company being fined $7.8 million Dollars, but it has agreed to allow the pre-installation of third-party apps.

Alphabet Inc.'s Google settled its dispute with Russia's antitrust watchdog in an agreement that opens the way for local search engine Yandex NV to be pre-installed on Android devices. That's allowed Google to set strict conditions for any phone manufacturer that wants to build a phone with access to the Play Store's millions of apps. The agency found that the search engine giant prohibited the installation of competing apps from other developers on mobile devices powered by the Android OS. Google's commercial settlement with Yandex is separate from its legal settlement with the regulator.

FAS had imposed a fine of 438M RUB (~$7.8M) on Google, following the antitrust ruling issued in September 2015.

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The suit followed a complaint from Yandex, a major Russian search company, which is one of the biggest winners of this settlement. "Now millions of Russian Android users will be offered a choice of search engines on their mobile devices".

"Google will be committed to securing the rights of the third parties to include their search engines in the choice window". Russian users didn't have the option of changing to a different search engine on those phones. Google had been appealing that decision until this week's settlement was reached.

"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".

  • Kyle Warner