Google Russia agrees to pay $8mn antitrust fine

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As stated above, Google has agreed not to "limit or impede" the pre-installation of third-party applications on devices. They are also working on a Chrome widget for future devices.

Google would preload its own apps, including the search engine, on phones running Android.

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.

It should enable Yandex to reach commercial agreements with makers of mobile phones and expand its share of search on Android devices in Russian Federation, he said.

A long-running dispute between Google and Russia's antimonopoly watchdog has now reached some level of closure, as Google has now reportedly arrived at an out-of-court settlement with Russian Federation regarding the tech company's Android OS.

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In August a year ago, Russian authorities slapped a 438 million ruble ($6.75m) fine on Google, concluding that the company was "forcing its partners to feature its services".

The FAS Russia imposed a fine on Google for violating Article 10 of the Federal Law "On Protection of Competition" in the amount of 438,067,400 roubles.

The search engine giant also required manufacturers to pre-install Google search engine as default, Google Play and other Google apps with preferential placement on the home screen of the devices. The FAS Russia, driven by the necessity to eliminate consequences of the violation and to restore competition in the market, agreed to sign the settlement agreement. 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. Russian users didn't have the option of changing to a different search engine on those phones.

The decision will give an opportunity for the Russian search engine Yandex NV to increase its own market share in mobile search. I suspect it will have only a limited impact on most Google apps. The company also can't restrict competing search engines and applications from being preinstalled on Android devices.

FAS said that Google's policy restricted installation of applications by other developers.

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