Technology

Russia, Google reach $7.8 million settlement on Android case

Russia, Google reach $7.8 million settlement on Android case”

It brings to an end a long-running battle between the U.S. firm and Russia's competition regulator, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). The agency found that the search engine giant prohibited the installation of competing apps from other developers on mobile devices powered by the Android OS.

Within 60 days of the settlement's approval, FAS also says, all the interested Russian search engines should have the opportunity to address Google about being included in the choice screen next year.

But the FAS had argued that, despite its denials, Google was indeed "prohibiting" rival software to its own YouTube, Maps and Photos apps to be pre-installed alongside its own dominant version of Android.

Russian search engine provider Yandex filed the original complaint against Google.

Google then proposed to the FAS Russia to reach a settlement.

FAS ruled in 2015 that Google was exploiting its dominance in the country by mandating the pre-installation of certain applications on mobile devices using Android.

Within a few months, Google will develop for new devices a new Chrome widget that will replace the standard Google search widget on the home screen. The FAS Russia, driven by the necessity to eliminate consequences of the violation and to restore competition in the market, agreed to sign the settlement agreement.

"We are pleased to announce that we have now reached a commercial agreement with Yandex and a settlement with FAS that meets the interests of all parties", said Google in a comment emailed to AFP.

Google is also developing a new Chrome widget that will present Russian Android users with a "choice screen" so they can select their preferred default search engine. Russian users didn't have the option of changing to a different search engine on those phones.

The deal also makes it possible for other applications to be pre-installed on Android devices in Russian Federation.



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