Google and Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) have finally settled the antitrust case that had to do with the pre-installation of Google apps on Android handsets. The antitrust began about two years ago following a complaint by Yandex.
FAS found, back in 2015, that the required pre-installation of apps on Android phones in Russia were anti-competitive. In 2016, FAS imposed an $8 million fine for the violation, which the settlement doesn’t vacate.
The settlement came after the legal challenge by Google, which was unsuccessful. The following list is the change in Russia under the settlement terms:
- Google will no longer demand exclusivity of its applications on Android-based devices in Russia.
- Google will be obliged not to restrict pre-installation of any competing search engines and applications (including on the default home screen).
- Google will refrain from stimulating pre-installation of the Google search as the only general search engine.
- Google will no longer enforce the parts of the previously signed agreements that contradict the terms of the settlement.
- Google will be committed to securing the rights of the third parties to include their search engines in the choice window.
Because of the settlement, Google is going to develop “a new Chrome widget that will replace the standard Google search widget on the home screen.” This will expose a new “choice screen” enabling users to choose any of several search engines from “developers who will sign a commercial agreement on their inclusion to the choice screen.”
Google has agreed not to “limit or impede” the pre-installation of third-party applications on devices. With this, OEMs and carriers will be able to strike deals for pre-installation with any third party.