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Google Agrees To Open Apps On Android-based Devices in Russia

By Monica U Santos , Apr 18, 2017 05:00 AM EDT
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Google Inc. and Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service (RFAS) agreed to settle a disagreement for two straight years covering Google's Android software. According to the settlement that was announced on Monday, Google will stop demanding tech companies and phone makers give exclusivity and superiority to its Google apps on Android-based gadgets in Russia. Also included in the agreement is that Google cannot restrict rival's search engines, as well as applications, from being preinstalled on Android devices.

The Reason Behind The Agreement

According to CNET, the controversy arose after Russia-based search company "Yandex" presented a complaint to RFAS about Google's systems. Arkady Volozh, Yandex's CEO, put out a statement on the settlement, stating the agreement as a very important "day for Russian consumers.” Yandex, a Russian multinational technology company and which is far smaller than Google Inc., saw its shares jump over 7 percent Monday.

The Result Of The Agreement

Now, Yandex will be able to reach agreements with smartphone manufacturers to have its search engine preinstalled on Android phones. Aside from the agreed settlement, Google has also agreed to RFAS that the tech company will soon offer a “Chrome widget” that will let Russian Android users choose a default search engine on their own. As reported by The Verge, any tech developer that signs a “commercial agreement” with Google can be automatically included — Yandex is the very first to sign up.

Despite the characteristics of the settlement, Google Inc. will still have to pay a 438m rouble, that is $7.8m fine imposed after it failed to appeal the lawsuit last August. However, after the release of the settlement on Monday, Google and Yandex are now working hand-in-hand for their success. A spokesperson responded in a statement that Google is "happy to have reached a commercial agreement with Yandex and a settlement with Russia's competition regulator."

 

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