Published: Tue, April 18, 2017
Tech | By Constance Martin

Russia, Google reach Dollars 7.8 mln settlement on Android case

Russia, Google reach Dollars 7.8 mln settlement on Android case

The settlement ends a two-year fight with Russian antitrust regulators.

In Reuters report on this story today they've added that "As part of the agreement, Google will also develop a tool allowing users to choose a default search engine on their Android devices".

The complainant party was Russian tech company Yandex, which accused Google of forcing smartphone makers to pre-install Google Play software on their devices.

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.

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Some 55 million Russian Android users now will have a choice of search engines on their mobile devices, per the terms of the agreement.

FAS ruled in 2015 that Google was abusing its dominance by requiring the pre-installation of certain applications on mobile devices using Android, following a complaint by Russia's Yandex.

In August past year, Russian authorities slapped a 438 million ruble ($6.75m) fine on Google, concluding that the company was "forcing its partners to feature its services". This included the exclusivity and priority placement of Google apps as well as the provisions limiting installation of other developers' apps and services. In addition, Google will not be able to demand that other competing search engines and apps can not be installed. In a "few months", Google will have a home-screen search widget that will offer up any manner of search providers (yep, including Yandex) assuming they sign a commercial agreement for their inclusion in the query box.

The American search engine giant agreed to pay a penalty of 438,067,400 million roubles or $7.8 million and to remove its anti-competitive restrictions from its agreements with manufacturers. "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.

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