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

Apr 18, 2017, 01:57
Google won't preload its apps in Russia after antitrust settlement

According to the settlement, which Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service announced Monday, Google will stop demanding phone makers give exclusivity and priority to its Google apps on Android-based devices in Russian Federation.

While Android is an open platform, core parts of the operating system aren't, including Google's app store.

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.

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

Under the settlement with the Russian antitrust watchdog FAS, Google has agreed to stop forcing smartphone makers to install the company's software on an obligatory basis. Google will allow apps and competing search engines to be pre-loaded on devices, with a new tool to select the latter.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Google will no longer demand exclusivity of its apps on Android devices in Russian Federation. Any developer that signs a "commercial agreement" with Google can be included - Yandex is the first to sign up.

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Within 60 days after the approval of the settlement agreement, all interested Russian search engines will be able to discuss with Google about any potential conditions of their inclusion to the choice screen next year. Google had been appealing the ruling prior to the settlement.

"The commercial agreement with Yandex, which was approved by the FAS, provides additional opportunities for the promotion of the Yandex search service in the Chrome browser, thus ending the dispute regarding the distribution of Google services on Android-devices", Google explains. Additionally, we have developed market-leading on-demand transportation services, navigation products, and other mobile applications for millions of consumers across the globe.

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