Russia, Google reach $7.8 million settlement on Android case

Randall Craig
April 18, 2017

Google settled with the Federal Antimonopoly Service in Moscow District Court of Arbitration. Google's Play Store is the largest app store on Android, but to put it on a phone, a manufacturer must abide by Google's terms.

Android may be an open operating system, but Google's Android - the version found on most Android devices - doesn't offer as much freedom. Technology platforms make it possible for us (as well as other companies) to continue a rapid pace of innovation.

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. The following year FAS imposed a almost $8 million fine for the violation, which the settlement doesn't vacate.

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.

Google will refrain from stimulating pre-installation of the Google search as the only general search engine.

She past year claimed Google required other smartphone makers to pre-install its search and browser apps and that it also stopped them from selling devices running on competing operating systems and claims that they were handed "financial incentives" by Google to put only Google's search on devices. Plus, "Google will be obliged not to restrict pre-installation of any competing search engines and applications".

To restore competition, the FAS Russia issued a prescription to Google in order to require the company to remove anti-competitive restrictions from its agreements with manufacturers. Google had been appealing the decision prior to the recent settlement.

Despite the nature of the settlement, Google will still have to pay a 438m rouble ($7.8; £6.2m) fine imposed after it failed to appeal the case last August.

Google then proposed to the FAS Russia to reach a settlement.

A Russian court approved the settlement agreement on Monday. Google will develop a "choice window" for its Chrome browser on existing devices so that users will be able to choose their preferred browser.

Now, as a result of the settlement deal, Google has pledged to no longer "demand exclusivity of its applications on Android-based devices in Russian Federation". Yandex now holds a 55 percent share of the search market in Russian Federation, while Google clings to a 40 percent share. This will expose a new "choice screen" enabling users to choose any of several search engines from "developers who will sign a commercial agreement on their inclusion to the choice screen".

Google's commercial settlement with Yandex is separate from its legal settlement with the regulator.

At the same time, Google will by no means limit or impede pre-installation of other developers' applications on the users' devices.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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