Yandex, Google and FAS Reach Settlement on Android in Russian Federation

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Not only is the company being fined $7.8 million Dollars, but it has agreed to allow the pre-installation of third-party apps. "Smartphone manufacturers will also have more freedom to select the apps that they preinstall on devices". These conditions comprised mandatory pre-installation of other Google apps together with Google Play, their preferential placement on the devices' home screen as well as mandatory installment of the Google search engine as default.

In addition, Google has promised to develop a tool to make it easy for users to change their device's default search engine.

Now the search giant has settled, agreeing to pay a $7.8 million fine as well as allowing phone manufacturers to choose any default search engine.

In 2015, FAS found that the required pre-installation of apps on Android phones in Russian Federation was anti-competitive.

The settlement ends a two-year fight with Russian antitrust regulators.

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She a year ago claimed Google required other smartphone makers to pre-install its search and browser apps and that it also stopped them from selling devices running on competing operating systems and claims that they were handed "financial incentives" by Google to put only Google's search on devices.

Google will no longer enforce the parts of the previously signed agreements that contradict the terms of the settlement.

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. Google had been appealing the ruling prior to the settlement. The company has about 55% market share in Russian search vs. Google's 40%, according to researcher LiveInternet. I suspect it will have only a limited impact on most Google apps. It will develop a Chrome widget for new devices within a few months to allow users to choose their preferred search engine on first use.

"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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