Russia, Google reach $7.8 million settlement on Android case

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Russia, Google reach $7.8 million settlement on Android case

Google will allow Android phone makers to pre-install third-party services such as Yandex, including on the first screen, as part of the agreement approved by Moscow District Arbitration Court, Dotsenko said.

Google's two-year antitrust battle with Russian competition authorities is finally coming to an end.

Google will "no longer demand exclusivity of its applications on Android-based devices in Russian Federation", the FAS said. In addition, Google will not be able to demand that other competing search engines and apps can not be installed.

The terms of the agreement state that Google will no longer demand exclusivity for its applications on Android devices in Russian Federation, and will not restrict manufacturers from pre-installing competing search engines or applications. FAS had accused Google of abusing its monopoly position in mobile app stores serving the Android operating system. Google had been appealing that decision until this week's settlement was reached. Google noted it continues to work with FAS on technical execution of their orders. The amount of the fine consists of 9% of company's turnover on the Russian market in 2014 plus inflation.

Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh called the settlement "an important day for Russian consumers" as "millions of Russian Android users will be offered a choice of search engines". While Chrome allows users to easily change the search engine, there is no way at the system-level to have easy access to another engine. FAS said that Google's policy restricted installation of applications by other developers.

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".

"We managed to find a balance between the necessity to develop the Android ecosystem and interests of third-party developers for promoting their mobile applications and services on Android-based devices".

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