Google was dealt a blow by Russian antitrust authority The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, which ruled that the company mustn’t require device manufacturers using Android to pre-install Google services.
The news follows a recent announcement by the European Commission that it would launch an antitrust probe into Google’s Android business, separate from the ongoing antitrust matter related to search.
Bloomberg, which first reported the news of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service’s decision, shares comments from the regulator, Google, and Yandex, which stands to gain search marketshare from the decision:
“It’s a violation that Google required equipment makers to pre-install its services, including search, to get the Google Play application store on their devices,” Vladimir Kudryavtsev, head of the IT department of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, said by phone on Monday. The regulator will issue detailed instructions on remedies to Google within 10 days, Kudryavtsev said.
A Google representative said by e-mail that the company will study the watchdog’s decision once it receives full instructions…
“We hope that the antitrust decision will help to restore competition in the market,” Yandex said in an e-mailed comment. “While the European Commission has already started a preliminary probe into similar practices, Russia is the first jurisdiction to recognize these practices as uncompetitive.”
Android has become a huge part of the technology landscape in the years since Google bought it and started its foray into the smartphone world. It was likely always (at least in part) about spreading its core search business, and now it would seek the strategy is starting to catch up to the company to some extent.
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