Google settles Russian antitrust case on Android phones

Google agrees to open Android to other search engines in Russia

Google agrees $7.8 million antitrust settlement with Russia

Yandex's CEO was similarly positive about the result, writing on the company's blog that "today is an important day for Russian consumers as Google has agreed to take significant steps that open up its Android platform in Russia".

"We are happy to have reached a commercial agreement with Yandex and a settlement with Russia's competition regulator, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), resolving the competition case over the distribution of Google apps on Android", a spokeswoman for Google told the BBC.

It will also develop a tool allowing users to choose a default search engine on their Android devices.

Google also made a commitment to secure the rights of third-parties by allowing the inclusion of their search engines in the choice window.

Google's two-year antitrust battle with Russian competition authorities is finally coming to an end. They are also working on a Chrome widget for future devices.

The Android home-screen search bar was at the center of a two-year dispute between Google and Russian Federation regulators.

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 will allow Android phone makers to pre-install third-party services such as Yandex, including on the first screen, as part of the agreement approved by Moscow District Arbitration Court, Dotsenko said. Yandex now holds a 55 percent share of the search market in Russian Federation, while Google clings to a 40 percent share.

Google will no longer enforce the parts of the previously signed agreements that contradict the terms of the settlement. The company has about 55% market share in Russian search vs. Google's 40%, according to researcher LiveInternet.

Users will be able to change settings at any time and choose the default search engine which suits their needs. I suspect it will have only a limited impact on most Google apps. The company is dropping its demand for services exclusivity with no restrictions on the install of competing applications and search engines.

"Implementation of the settlement's terms will be an effective means to secure competition between developers of mobile applications".

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