End to Google’s monopoly on the mobile app market
The Arbitration Court of the Moscow District approved a settlement agreement between the Federal Anti-monopoly Service of the Russian Federation and Google in the framework of the proceedings on violation of the mobile application market.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Google refuses the requirements for the exclusivity of its applications on Android-based devices in Russia, agrees not to limit the preinstallation of any competing search services and applications (including on the default home screen), refuses to stimulate the pre-installation of Google search in as the only general search service, refuses to apply further the provisions of the agreements that contradict the terms of the settlement agreement, undertakes to ensure the rights of third parties to include “Putting their search engines in the selection box,” the FAS Russia official statement said.
In turn, the Google press service said that in the framework of the commercial agreement with Yandex, approved by the FAS Russia, it will continue to offer 11 of its applications (including the Google Application, Chrome and Google Play). “As before, the decision on whether or not to preinstall our applications on Android smartphones rests with the manufacturers of smartphones,” the company said.
The conflict between the corporation and the Federal Antimonopoly Service has been ongoing since February 2015, when Yandex filed a complaint against the American company. Its reason was Google’s requirements for manufacturers of Android smartphones: they had to do Google’s default search and install its search widget on the home screen. The preinstallation of competing applications created by other developers was also limited. Only when these requirements are met, manufacturers got access to the Google Play app store. Thus, the Android platform limited the capabilities of users, manufacturers of smartphones and competitors of Google.
The FAS later found Google guilty of violating competition law and ordered the company to untie the Google Play app store from other services, including search. At the same time, Google was supposed to exclude restrictions on the installation of applications and services of other developers from agreements with vendors.