Russia, Google reach $7.8 million settlement on Android case

Share

In August 2016, FAS imposed a 438 million rouble ($7.8 million) fine on Google which the company still has to pay after reaching the settlement, FAS said.

The deal with Russian Federation s anti-monopoly service (FAS) came after Yandex, the country s biggest search engine, complained Google had an unfair advantage by pre-loading its search engine on Android phones.

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.

MOSCOW, Russia - April 17, 2017 - On April 17, 2017, the two-year legal process between the Federal Antimonopoly Service and Google ended up with a voluntary settlement in the Moscow District Court of Arbitration.

Google will also drop its requirement of being the only search engine that comes pre-installed on Android devices, and will no longer enforce any existing agreements where manufacturers had agreed to do so.

As part of the agreement, Google will also develop a tool allowing users to choose a default search engine on their Android devices.

In addition to paying a $7.8 million fine, Google has agreed to stop preventing phone manufacturers from changing the default search engine to anything but Google. This included the exclusivity and priority placement of Google apps as well as the provisions limiting installation of other developers' apps and services.

While Yandex framed the decision at the time as a way to "restore competition on the market", it came as the search engine's traffic began declining due to the popularity of Android. 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. Google will develop a "choice window" for its Chrome browser on existing devices so that users will be able to choose their preferred browser. "With choice, the possibilities are endless", he said.

"Implementation of the settlement's terms will be an effective means to secure competition between developers of mobile applications".

Share