Google To Pay Russia $7.8 million To Settle Android Case

Google "will be obliged not to restrict pre-installation of any competing search engines and applications" on its Android operating system in Russian Federation, the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service said on its website on Monday.

In August 2016, FAS imposed a 438 million rouble ($7.8 million) fine on Google which the company still has to pay after reaching the settlement, FAS said.

I also want to thank Google, not only for their cooperation, but also for recognizing the value of openness.

Under the settlement, Google can not stop smartphone makers from pre-installing competing search engine apps on their devices.

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Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service said this counted as an abuse of Google's dominant market position, and for the past two years, it's been investigating and suing over the company's restrictive terms. Google will also drop its requirement of being the only search engine that comes pre-installed on Android devices, and will no longer enforce any existing agreements where manufacturers had agreed to do so.

The complainant party was Russian tech company Yandex, which accused Google of forcing smartphone makers to pre-install Google Play software on their devices. According to Reuters, the settlement deal was approved by a Russian court on Monday, and is for a term of six years and nine months.

Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh called the settlement "an important day for Russian consumers" as "millions of Russian Android users will be offered a choice of search engines".

Google agreed to make one-off payment of the 438 mln rubles ($7.8 mln) fine and two fines of 500,000 rubles ($8,900) each imposed on affiliates of the U.S. corporation - Google Inc. and Google Ireland Ltd.

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Google confirmed the deal, saying it met the interests of all parties.

The deal also has wider implications beyond Russian Federation, setting a precedent for cases around the world where governments and companies have complained that Google is abusing its dominant position.

Users will be able to change settings at any time and choose the default search engine which suits their needs.

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