Google reaches out-of-court deal with Russian Federation over Android case

  • Google reaches out-of-court deal with Russian Federation over Android case

Google reaches out-of-court deal with Russian Federation over Android case

While Chrome allows users to easily change the search engine, there is no way at the system-level to have easy access to another engine.

Google's antitrust battle with the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) led by Russian search rival Yandex came to a close Monday with the Mountain View, California company reaching an out-of-court deal.

Yandex Arkady Volozh actually put out a statement on the settlement, calling the agreement "an important day for Russian consumers". "Smartphone manufacturers will also have more freedom to select the apps that they preinstall on devices".

"I am thankful to the Federal Antimonopoly Service for applying the law in a manner that effectively and efficiently restores competition to the market for the benefit of Russian users, as competition always breeds innovation", Yandez said.

The Android home-screen search bar was at the center of a two-year dispute between Google and Russian Federation regulators. The amount of the fine consists of 9% of company's turnover on the Russian market in 2014 plus inflation.

That means Google won't be able to pre-install apps on phones, control the default search engine or place its own apps on device home screens in the region.

Google would preload its own apps, including the search engine, on phones running Android. Google had been appealing that decision until this week's settlement was reached.

Additionally, Google agreed to stop enforcing parts of the previously signed agreements with manufacturers that contradict the terms of its settlement with FAS.

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 addition of a choice window provides users with the opportunity to choose their default search engine. "The settlement's execution will have a positive effect on the market as a whole, while giving developers additional options for promoting their products", - summarized Igor Artemiev, Head of the FAS Russia.