Google reaches RM35mil antitrust settlement with Russia

by Leslie Wood April 18, 2017, 1:35
Google reaches RM35mil antitrust settlement with Russia

The Google search bar will be replaced with a Chrome widget and Russian search engines will be able to appear on the screen. Not only is the company being fined $7.8 million Dollars, but it has agreed to allow the pre-installation of third-party apps.

Google's antitrust battle with the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) led by Russian search rival Yandex came to a close Monday with the Mountain View, California company reaching an out-of-court deal.

On September 14, 2015 the Federal Antimonopoly Service recognized Google Inc. and Google Ireland having breached the competition protection law under the complaint of the Russian Internet company Yandex. "Competition breeds innovation", Yandex CEO and co-founder Arkady Volozh wrote in a blog post.

Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service said this counted as an abuse of Google's dominant market position, and for the past two years, it's been investigating and suing over the company's restrictive terms.

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 will also develop a tool allowing users to choose a default search engine on their Android devices.

The search engine giant has often used the Play Store as leverage to stop manufacturers from changing the default search engine on an Android device or bundling competing apps. Any developer that signs a "commercial agreement" with Google can be included - Yandex is the first to sign up.

Google will also develop a new Chrome widget for new devices as a replacement for the standard Google search widget on the home screen. This move will make room for apps like the the local Russian search engine Yandex NV.

Igor Artemiev, head of the FAS, said, "Implementation of the settlement's terms will be an effective means to secure competition between developers of mobile applications. The settlement's execution will have a positive effect on the market as a whole, while giving developers additional options for promoting their products", he said.

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