Google ordered to unbundle features from Android in Russia

Google has been told by Russian authorities to change agreements with Android hardware producers so it will comply with local competition laws. The order by Russia's Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) follows their ruling last month that the company had been abusing its market dominance in the country.

Google's agreement with Android hardware partners allowed them to ship devices with the Google Play Store pre-installed. However the agreement was conditional, requiring other Google apps like Search to also be pre-installed and prominently displayed.

This irked Yandex, the leading search engine in Russia, who initially brought the complaint against Google, saying Android's default options pushed users onto Google services at their and other vendors' expense. FAS agreed resulting in last month's ruling and the order this week.

FAS has given Google until November 18 to fully comply in a statement announcing the ruling:

“To restore competition on the market, Google should amend agreements with mobile-device producers within a month and exclude the anti-competitive clauses."

Google's hold in the search engine market in Russia has risen substantially from the start of 2014, going from 34 percent to 42 percent in August. Meanwhile Yandex has almost lost its majority hold, dropping from 54 percent to 50 percent.

Google Russia has not commented on the order.

Source: FAS (in Russian) via Bloomberg

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