google-logoBack in February of 2015, Yandex, the top Russian search engine asked the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation (FAS) to initiate an antitrust investigation into Google’s control over the Android platform.  According to Yandex, Google was given an unfair advantage through the required pre-installation of Google apps on Android handsets in Russia.

In September 2015, FAS found that the practice violated Russian competition law, and afterwards, Google pledged to fight the ruling.

The Wall Street Journal said that the Moscow Arbitration Court has upheld FAS’s decision on the morning of March 14.  It looks like Google is still able to appeal the ruling, and chances are, they probably will.

As of right now though, Google can’t require handset makers and telecom companies in Russia to pre-install any apps as a condition of access to Google Play.  Google has been ordered by FAS to alter their Android contracts accordingly.  If Google doesn’t comply, the company could face potential fines of up to 15 percent of Google’s 2014 Russian revenues.

Since Yandex has claimed victory on the Russian front, the search engine has taken the same complaint to the European Commission, who, as we know, has an ongoing Android antitrust investigation.

Google is still saying that any investigation against Android is unwarranted since the OS is open-source and is freely available to everybody.  To help Google’s case, a group of about 140 Android developers, under the banner of an organization called the Application Developers Alliance, sent a letter to the EC last November, which advised them not to take action that could minimize Google’s control over Android and create even greater fragmentation.

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