Russia's main search engine defeats Google in antitrust complaint

Russia's main search engine defeats Google in antitrust complaint

Russia's main search engine defeats Google in antitrust complaint

The FAS in September 2015 considered Google in breach of a competition law after the complaint by Yandex of the competitive advantage for Google on Android phones.

Russian officials and Google have reached an agreement to settle a two-year-old case against Google for requiring the pre-installation of some of its apps on mobile devices using the Android system. Google had been appealing the ruling prior to the settlement.

As part of the latter, Google is also developing a tool that will allow users to select the default search engine. In addition, Google will not be able to demand that other competing search engines and apps can not be installed.

"Rival search engines and mobile operating systems have not been able to compete on their merits".

The Android home-screen search bar was at the center of a two-year dispute between Google and Russian Federation regulators. They are also working on a Chrome widget for future devices.

Should the European Union investigation go against Google, it could be fined up to $7.4 billion, the equivalent of 10 percent of its global revenue.

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It brings to an end a long-running battle between the USA firm and Russia's competition regulator, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS).

A Russian court approved the settlement agreement on Monday.

U.S. technology firm Google has agreed to pay 438 million rubles (nearly $8 million) in fines for antitrust violations in the Russian mobile applications market. Yandex now holds a 55 percent share of the search market in Russian Federation, while Google clings to a 40 percent share. The company has about 55% market share in Russian search vs. Google's 40%, according to researcher LiveInternet.

Apart from restoring conditions for competition in the market of mobile applications, the implementation of the settlement will enable consumers to buy devices with the software that better corresponds to their expectations. Russian users didn't have the option of changing to a different search engine on those phones. The company also can't restrict competing search engines and applications from being preinstalled on Android devices.

"The settlement will have a positive effect on the market as a whole", FAS head Igor Artemiev said.

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