Google's Play Store is the largest app store on Android, but to put it on a phone, a manufacturer must abide by Google's terms. While Chrome allows users to easily change the search engine, there is no way at the system-level to have easy access to another engine. Technology platforms make it possible for us (as well as other companies) to continue a rapid pace of innovation.
The Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia (FAS) announced the approval of a settlement of the two-year old Android antitrust case in Russia on April 17.
In 2015, FAS found that the required pre-installation of apps on Android phones in Russian Federation was anti-competitive.
The FAS Russia found violations in the Google's actions which resulted in prohibition of pre-installation of other developers' competing applications.
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The suit followed a complaint from Yandex, a major Russian search company, which is one of the biggest winners of this settlement. Google had been appealing the ruling prior to the settlement. Russian antitrust regulators also fined the company $7.8 million.
A Russian court approved the settlement agreement on Monday.
In August 2016, FAS fined Google 438 million rubles (over $7.8 million) which was part of the settlement reached on Monday.
Google has also agreed to soon offer a "Chrome widget" that will let Android users in Russian Federation choose a default search engine aside from Google.
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The Android home-screen search bar was at the center of a two-year dispute between Google and Russian Federation regulators. This will allow end users of the devices based on the Android OS with the GMS package to see the new "choice screen" at the first launch of the new Chrome widget. In a "few months", Google will have a home-screen search widget that will offer up any manner of search providers (yep, including Yandex) assuming they sign a commercial agreement for their inclusion in the query box.
In August past year, Russian authorities slapped a 438 million ruble ($6.75m) fine on Google, concluding that the company was "forcing its partners to feature its services".
Apart from restoring conditions for competition in the market of mobile applications, the implementation of the settlement will enable consumers to buy devices with the software that better corresponds to their expectations. The addition of a choice window provides users with the opportunity to choose their default search engine.
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