Russia's biggest search engine beats Google in antitrust case


FAS ruled in 2015 that Google was exploiting its dominance in the country by mandating the pre-installation of certain applications on mobile devices using Android.

While Android is an open platform, core parts of the operating system aren't, including Google's app store.

Russian Federal Antimonopoly Agency (FAS) and Google have reached an amicable agreement in a dispute over corporation's refusal to comply with the antimonopoly watchdog's ruling with Google taking an obligation to pay all the imposed fines, RIA Novosti reported on Monday.

In August past year, Russian authorities slapped a 438 million ruble ($6.75m) fine on Google, concluding that the company was "forcing its partners to feature its services".

Google also made a commitment to secure the rights of third-parties by allowing the inclusion of their search engines in the choice window. These developments will help Google to fulfill their obligation to "not to restrict pre-installation of any competing search engines and applications".

Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh called the settlement "an important day for Russian consumers" as "millions of Russian Android users will be offered a choice of search engines".

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The $7.8 million fine is roughly 9 percent of Google's 2014 revenue in Russian Federation.

The Moscow-based company had accused the search giant's parent, Alphabet, of undermining competition by forcing phone makers to preinstall a set bundle of Google apps on Android.

Yandex particularly took issue with the default search engine stipulation. Google had been appealing the decision prior to the recent settlement.

Google will also develop a new widget for Chrome that will allow buyers of new devices to choose their default search engine, FAS said.

"We are happy to have reached a commercial agreement with Yandex and a settlement with Russia's competition regulator", a Google spokesperson said in a statement. Google's commercial settlement with Yandex is separate from its legal settlement with the regulator.