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Google reaches settlement with Russia regulators

[JURIST] Alphabet Inc. [official website], owner of Google, and the Russian Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) [official website], reached [FAS press release] an out-of-court settlement with in a dispute over Google's requiring Android phone manufacturers to pre-install its own search tool on Monday. In 2015 the FAS ruled that this requirement was an abuse of Google's market dominance and its actions excluded competing Russian search engines such as Yandex [official website]. After the FAS imposed a $7.8 million US fine on Google, Alphabet Inc. proposed a settlement in which the company agreed to refrain from requiring manufactures to pre-install their search engine services on Android devices. In its place, Google will develop a new Chrome widget which will allow end users to install the search applications of any company they desire. According to the settlement, Russian competitors will be able to begin contacting Google for their inclusion in the new search widget in 60 days. The head of the FAS, Igor Artemiev [official profile], stated:

Implementation of the settlement’s terms will be an effective means to secure competition between developers of mobile applications. We managed to find a balance between the necessity to develop the Android ecosystem and interests of third-party developers for promoting their mobile applications and services on Android-based devices. The settlement’s execution will have a positive effect on the market as a whole, while giving developers additional options for promoting their products.
FAS first began investigation Google's search software practices after Yandex filed a complaint in 2015. In September 2015 the FAS ruled that Google's practices violated Part 1 Article 10 of the Russian Federal Law [text] by using its dominant position in the market to exclude competitors from its Android devices. Google has faced numerous anti-trust claims all over the world. In April 2016 the EU levied [CNN report] anti-trust charges against Google for some of the same practices addressed in the FAS's suit. Google is currently facing a $3.4 billion US anti-trust fine from the European Commission in the matter.

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