Is Google bullying other search engines?
Russian search firm Yandex is accusing tech giant Google of violating antitrust laws. Yandex filed a petition with Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service calling on it to investigate the claim, according to Tech.eu. The company’s complaint alleges that Google bundles its mobile search engine and other services with the Android OS, effectively forcing device manufacturers to set Google as the default search engine.
Statement from Yandex
Yandex released a statement commenting on the complaint it has filed against Google with the FAS. See key excerpts below.
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“Google’s practices relating to Android have been the subject of investigations and lawsuits in many jurisdictions around the world.
Google is the owner of Android, the dominant global mobile operating system. Many believe that Android is an open platform.
In reality, manufacturers of Android-powered devices are locked into the proprietary Google Play application store and closed APIs. In order to install Google Play on their devices, device manufacturers are required to preinstall the entire suite of Google GMS services, and set Google as the default search.
In addition to that, device manufacturers are increasingly prohibited from installing any services from Google’s competitors on their devices.”
Google shutting out other search engines
In its filing, Yandex says that three smartphone makers — Prestigio, Fly and Explay – recently informed the firm that they could no longer pre-install its services on their Android devices because of Google’s requirements.
More on Yandex and Google in Russia
Of note, Yandex controls 58% of the Russian search market with Google at 33%. However, Yandex only has a 44% of the fast-growing mobile market, which provides a good reason to pursue antitrust claims.
Moreover, Google is still dealing with a long-standing antitrust investigation by the EC, and Yandex has previously contributed information to the investigation.
The best outcome for Yandex would be if Google were required to separate Android from its search and consumer services like Gmail and Google Calendar so they could not force their whole suite on manufacturers as a “bundle.”
The Russian search firm launched its own Android firmware — Yandex.Kit — in 2014, which offers similar services to replace Google’s email and calendar apps.