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Russia: Google no longer forces its search on Android

 |  August 7, 2017

Earlier this year, Google lost an antitrust case in Russia over the restrictions it places on Android devices. As part of a settlement with the country’s antimonopoly agency, the FAS, the US tech giant has made changes to its Chrome app, which now prompts users to select a default search engine when it launches for the first time.

In a blog post, Russian search engine Yandex described the change as a “huge milestone” and said it had been working for it “for a long time.” Google is Yandex’s biggest rival in Russia, with the latter holding 55% of the market (compared to Google’s 40%) by Yandex’s own count. As users switch from desktop to mobile, asking them to actively choose a search engine (rather than burying that choice in the settings menu) makes a big difference.

Yandex says in a blog post:

Previously, Google search was the default search on Chrome on all Android devices; a different search engine could only be selected by accessing the application settings. Now, with the most recent version of Chrome Mobile (v.60), users are prompted to select their default search engine when the Chrome app launches. This is a huge milestone for Russian users and something we have been working towards for a long time.

As one of the largest internet companies in Europe, and the leading search and mobile applications provider in Russia, access to platforms is critically important to Yandex. We are excited that Russian consumers can now easily choose their preferred search engine on their Android devices.

Full Content: 9 to 5 Google

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