Google In Trouble In Russia After Losing Anti-Monopoly Appeal

Google’s Android abuse is confirmed in Russia. An earlier decision that blocks the U.S. firm from bundling its apps on Android gear has been upheld by an arbitration court in Russia. The Moscow Arbitration Court upheld the 2015 ruling from the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) that the search giant used its dominant position to compel hardware vendors to pre-install its software on Android handsets and tablets.

Arbiter reaffirms antitrust finding

After an investigation, the FAS concluded that the search giant did violate monopoly laws, and on Monday, that ruling was reaffirmed by the Appeals Court.

The Moscow court said in its ruling, “In the course of the case proceedings, the Commission of the FAS Russia found that Google provided mobile device manufacturers with Google Play app store for pre-installation on Android OS mobile devices adopted for the Russian Federation.”

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The court further said that the conditions of app store provisions include obligatory pre-installation of Google apps and its search engine and their obligatory location on the main screen of a mobile device.

“Google actions [sic] led to prohibition of pre-installation of apps of other producers,” concluded the court.

About the case

Google’s Russian rival, Yandex, brought the case which accused the Chocolate Factory of forcibly removing competing applications by tying Android users into the Google Play store. The Chocolate Factory was able to take an unjust advantage over Yandex search by forcing Android users onto the Play Store and other Google hardware, said Yandex’s complaint with the FAS.

In an interview with VentureBeat, a Yandex spokesperson said that the Yandex team is satisfied with the decision to uphold the FAS’ judgment.

What the ruling means for Google

Now Google may face stricter rules in Russia, including no longer being allowed to provide its apps and services pre-installed on Android devices. As of now, there has been no comment from the U.S. firm on the court’s decision.

Google is also being accused in Europe of using its dominance to cause a bias in search results, and many other countries, including the U.K. are pressing it to pay more local taxes. Google and its parent company, Alphabet, are getting increasingly concerned about events across the Atlantic and therefore have been investing generously in influencing more people.