Russia, Google reach $7.8 million settlement on Android case

Russia, Google reach $7.8 million settlement on Android case”

Not only is the company being fined $7.8 million United States dollars, but it has agreed to allow the pre-installation of third-party apps.

While Google never outright required manufacturers to pre-load its apps, its previous rules made it so that companies producing Android-powered phones had to either install all of Google's core apps - Gmail, a browser with Google default search, and, most importantly, the Google Play app store - or none at all.

On September 14, 2015 the Federal Antimonopoly Service recognized Google Inc. and Google Ireland having breached the competition protection law under the complaint of the Russian Internet company Yandex.

For Android devices already in use in Russia, Google will work out a way for consumers to choose a default search engine after an update via a new widget that will be developed, the watchdog said.

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The American search engine giant agreed to pay a penalty of 438,067,400 million roubles or $7.8 million and to remove its anti-competitive restrictions from its agreements with manufacturers. Google had been appealing the ruling prior to the settlement.

While Yandex framed the decision at the time as a way to "restore competition on the market", it came as the search engine's traffic began declining due to the popularity of Android. The fine amounts to 9 percent of Google's revenue in Russian Federation in 2014, plus inflation, according to TASS.

Google will also develop a new Chrome widget for new devices as a replacement for the standard Google search widget on the home screen. The search engine giant will develop an active "choice window" for the Chrome browser on the next update on devices now circulating in the Russian market. "With choice, the possibilities are endless", he said.

This makes the applications pre-installation channel on mobile devices open for application developers who will get equal rights and opportunities to access the devices on the territory of the Russian Federation. "The settlement's execution will have a positive effect on the market as a whole, while giving developers additional options for promoting their products", he said.

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