Google: Losing The Android Antitrust Saga Vs. Russia’s Regulators & Yandex
For some time now, tech giant Google has been struggling to manage its hold in Europe. Since last year it has been involved in an antitrust issue from the European Commission. It has gotten to a point where a case was filed against them, which it fought back and up to now is still far from over.Advertisement
Now, another baggage is piled unto its shoulder, as it recently lost an appeal in a Russian court. This Monday, March 14 an appeal from Mountain view-based company has been rejected by the Moscow Arbitration court. It also ruled that the American search engine giant has abused its dominant position with its Android mobile platform which lead to it breaking anti-monopoly laws reports Reuters.
With the ruling in mind, Google now has to amend its contract with mobile device manufacturers in order to comply with it and also pay the necessary fine of up to 15% of the 2014 revenue from the pre-loaded apps. The Wall Street Journal also reports that the Mountain View tech company can appeal the latest ruling.
The latest ruling, which comes after the appeal made by the American company in regards to the September ruling states that “in course of the case proceedings, the Commission of the FAS Russia found that Google provided mobile devices manufacturers with Google play app store for pre-installation on Android OS mobile devices adopted for the Russian Federation.”
ZDNet also reports that the Moscow Arbitration court ruling also said that “conditions of app store provision include obligatory pre-installation of Google apps as well as its searching engine and their obligatory location on the main screen of a mobile device.”
Meanwhile after the said decision was reached, a spokesperson for Yandex told Venture Beat that “After careful consideration of all the facts in the case against Google’s anti-competitive practices, the court has upheld FAS’s judgement. We are satisfied with the court’s decision to uphold FAS’s judgement in the case against Google.”
On the other hand when asked for comments, the California based search engine’s spokesperson said that they will not comment on the said matter for now, as they have not received the judgement yet.
And trouble is brewing for the American company as there are reports that the European Commission, which it also has a current standing issue with, is said to be considering similar charges against Android in Europe reports Tech Crunch.
The American tech firm’s problems in Europe, particularly in Russia, started early last year when Russian search giant Yandex filed a request to Russia’s antimonopoly regulator to investigate the Google over violations of the country’s antitrust laws. Yandex is a Russian search engine that competes with the company in certain key areas and is called by some as “the Google of Russia.”
According to earlier reports from Tech Crunch, Yandex specifically wants the regulator to check Googles’s Android operating system and how the American company bundles its search engine as the default on all Android devices which accounts for about 88% of smartphones sold in Russia. Having it bundled with those devices leaves Yandex and other search engines a big competition.
Six months later and Yandex won the complaint with the FAS siding with the Russian firm. During that ruling the regulators has said that users of the American company’s OS shouldn’t be lumped with the ad and the other services that it offers.
Android users should be able to buy a phone pre-loaded with the company’s Play Store but without any of the other products that the company has.
According to an early report from Ars Technica, that September ruling has given Yandex a boost as after that ruling the public company’s stock was observed to have risen for a few hours. However, the American firm has appealed and that resulted to the current ruling that was just passed this Monday.
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