IT&Software

Russia, Google reach $7.8 million settlement on Android case

Russia, Google reach $7.8 million settlement on Android case

Google settled with the Federal Antimonopoly Service in Moscow District Court of Arbitration. This widget will prompt users with a "choice screen", where they can select between Yandex, Google, or any other search engine who may sign a commercial agreement with Google for inclusion on this list.

Google will "no longer demand exclusivity of its applications on Android-based devices in Russian Federation", the FAS said.

Android may be an open operating system, but Google's Android - the version found on most Android devices - doesn't offer as much freedom.

The deal also has wider implications beyond Russian Federation, setting a precedent for cases around the world where governments and companies have complained that Google is abusing its dominant position. The settlement will help eliminate the violations of the antimonopoly legislation previously detected by the FAS Russia and will ensure competition on markets of mobile applications, especially mobile search.

The FAS in August 2016 imposed a $7.8 million fine for violating local competition rules, which stems from a ruling in 2015 that Google abused its search-market dominance.

According to the regulator, Google obliged manufacturers of Android OS-based devices to pre-install its applications together with Android platform.

Under the settlement, Google can not stop smartphone makers from pre-installing competing search engine apps on their devices.

Courts of two levels upheld the validity of the FAS Russia's decision. Yandex now holds a 55 percent share of the search market in Russian Federation, while Google clings to a 40 percent share.

Per the terms of the settlement, Google must ditch those restrictions in the country.

In addition, Google has promised to develop a tool to make it easy for users to change their device's default search engine.

Google will also develop a new Chrome widget for new devices as a replacement for the standard Google search widget on the home screen.


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