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Google loses Russian court appeal against anti-monopoly ruling

This puts Google in something of a pickle, because they’re staring down the barrel of a serious fine if they don’t radically change their business model in Russia.

Published onMarch 14, 2016

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So back in September, Yandex, which is a Russian search engine, looked around the Russian mobile market and saw that it was inundated with Android devices. All of these devices came with Google apps pre-installed, which seriously cut Yandex’s chances of remaining competitive. The company filed a complaint against the American search company through the Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS), and the court ruled that search giant’s operating system should not come bundled with other Google services. Google, naturally appealed the ruling.

Today that appeal was denied. Moscow’s Arbitration Court upheld the decision made by FAS, even going so far as to say that they “fully support” the ruling and that it served the benefit of leading “to the prohibition of pre-installation of apps of other producers” as well.

This puts everyone’s favorite polychromatic search engine in something of a pickle, because now they’re staring down the barrel of a serious fine if they don’t radically change their business model in the world’s geographically largest country. Tough as that situation may be, it’s also a potentially heavy blow in another battle of public perception that the search giant is waging over in Europe. The European Commission has lately been formally investigating Google to determine whether or not their methods with Android constitute anticompetitive behavior. In both of these issues, Google remains insistent that they haven’t violated any antitrust rules.

You might be wondering how big of a fine Russia would have to level at Google to make a company so large flinch. The grand total right now stands at 15% of the 2014 revenue for preloaded apps in Russia. That ain’t peanuts.

What are your thoughts regarding these recent antitrust, monopoly concerns? Is the sultan of search guilty of anticompetitive behavior, or are users given enough freedom to move away from the preinstalled applications? Let us know your opinion in the comments below.

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