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Google told to unbundle apps from Android in Russia

The Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service says that Android unfairly favours Google services and has accused the tech giant of abusing its dominant market position.

Published onSeptember 15, 2015

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Another country isn’t too happy with Google, this time Russia is accusing the search giant of breaching its anti-trust regulations, as it gains an unfair competitive advantage from the pre-installed Google products bundled in with Android phones and tablets. The situation arose after the Yandex search engine, a Russian internet company, complained to regulators about Google back in February.

The Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service found that Android unfairly favours Google services and accuses Google of abusing its dominant position in the smartphone and tablet markets. It would rather that phones simply shipped with the Google Play Store, leaving users free to choose the rest of their apps. The body will be issuing detailed instructions to Google about how to proceed within the next 10 days.

“We welcome the positive ruling of the Federal Antimonopoly Service, which took up this complex case and, having examined the evidence, recognised a violation on the part of Google … We believe the FAS’s decision will serve to restore competition on the market.” – Yandex

Yandex seems to already be a winner following the announcement, as the company’s stock leapt up by around 10 percent. According to Bloomberg, Yandex’s search results have fallen to 50 percent of traffic this year, while Google’s climbed to 42 percent. Yandex clearly doesn’t like the extra competition.

Google has not issued a reply yet, stating only that it will study the case and plan its next move once it receives demands from the Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service. Google is likely looking at another costly and lengthy legal battle.

Russia is not the only one upset with Google’s dominant market position lately. The tech company is also under investigation by the European Commission regarding its Android OS and pre-installed services. Google is also fighting a similar anti-trust case in Europe over alleged preferential shopping search results.

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