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Russia: Google must unbundle Android in a month or else

 |  October 6, 2015

Russia’s antimonopoly agency has given Google until November 18 to make amendments to features of its Android platform that it deemed anticompetitive. If Google fails to make the demanded changes, it could face stiff penalties of up to 15 percent of its revenue gained from mobile applications in Russia.

What’s at issue is Google’s policy that when a device maker chooses to install Android, it must also install the Google Play store app and several other Google applications. In addition, device manufacturers are restricted from installing apps and services that compete with Google’s core offerings.

The case against Google in Russia was launched by Yandex, a domestic search competitor that’s been losing market share as consumers pick up low-cost Android handsets pre-installed with Google search. If Google makes the changes laid out by the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) in Russia, it would allow third-party app developers like Yandex to get their own services installed on Android devices.

“Our goal is to return fair play to the market – when apps are pre-installed on mobile devices based on how good or how popular they are rather than due to restrictions imposed by the owner of the operating system,” Yandex said in a statement.

Yandex would also like for Android devices to present users with a choice of search provider when setting up their phone or tablet.

Full content: The Wall Street Journal

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