Google Settles Out of Court with Russia Over Android

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. The company was found guilty of abusing its dominant position in the market for mobile devices running on Android.

The deal was approved by a Russian court earlier on Monday, said FAS deputy head Alexei Dotsenko, adding that it was for a term of six years and nine months.

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.

As part of today's settlement, "Google will no longer demand exclusivity of its applications on Android-based devices in Russia", FAS said.

I also want to thank Google, not only for their cooperation, but also for recognizing the value of openness.

The Moscow-based company had accused the search giant's parent, Alphabet, of undermining competition by forcing phone makers to preinstall a set bundle of Google apps on Android.




Yandex Arkady Volozh actually put out a statement on the settlement, calling the agreement "an important day for Russian consumers". Russian users didn't have the option of changing to a different search engine on those phones.

"We are happy to have reached a commercial agreement with Yandex and a settlement with Russia's competition regulator", a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

The settlement ends a two-year fight with Russian antitrust regulators. Google will develop a "choice window" for its Chrome browser on existing devices so that users will be able to choose their preferred browser.

"Google will be committed to securing the rights of the third parties to include their search engines in the choice window".

Google representatives didn't immediately respond to requests for comments on the settlement.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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