Google Opens Android to Search Rivals in Russian Federation

Google Opens Android to Search Rivals in Russian Federation

The dispute arose after Russia-based search company Yandex submitted a complaint to the FAS about Google's practices.

The regulator ruled in October 2015 that Google violated anti-monopoly rules and should change agreements with mobile-device makers to allow them to pre-install third-party services.

The settlement also comes after an unsuccessful legal challenge by Google.

As part of the latter, Google is also developing a tool that will allow users to select the default search engine.

Google had argued the regulator had no case because manufacturers could develop their own versions of Android or pre-install other apps of their choice.

It brings to an end a long-running battle between the United States firm and Russia's competition regulator, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). They are also working on a Chrome widget for future devices.

YouTube channels must win audiences before winning ads
In a bid to stop this practice, YouTube is banning channels from displaying ads until they have managed to hit 10,000 views . It also said that they will be employing more staff to do fact checks manually rather than wait for people to flag them.

Google will no longer enforce the parts of the previously signed agreements that contradict the terms of the settlement.

Despite the nature of the settlement, Google will still have to pay a 438m rouble ($7.8; £6.2m) fine imposed after it failed to appeal the case last August.

Alexei Dotsenko, FAS deputy head, told reporters that "Google will no longer demand exclusivity of its applications on Android-based devices in Russian Federation and will not restrict the pre-installation of rival search engines and other applications". 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.

Within 60 days after the approval of the settlement agreement, all interested Russian search engines will be able to discuss with Google about any potential conditions of their inclusion to the choice screen next year. I suspect it will have only a limited impact on most Google apps. These developments will help Google to fulfill their obligation to "not to restrict pre-installation of any competing search engines and applications".

"Implementation of the settlement's terms will be an effective means to secure competition between developers of mobile applications", said FAS head Igor Artemiev.

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