This is thanks to an out-of-court settlement with Russian competition authorities.
In a significant legal breakthrough, Alphabet Inc’s Google has decided to an out-of-court settlement with Russia’s competition authorities in which it will open up Android, its mobile operating system, to rival search engines.
The deal is significant since it sets a new precedent since Google is facing similar multiple complaints worldwide of abusing its dominant position by imposing certain restrictions on manufacturers of Android-based devices so as to protects its share of the online search market.
In 2015, the FAS, Russia’s competition watchdog, had ruled that the search engine giant had broken the law since it required the pre-installation of applications, including its own search tool, on mobile devices using Android, following a complaint by Russia’s Yandex.
As part of the deal, Google will now no longer demand the exclusive pre-installation of its application on Android-based devices in Russia and will not restrict the pre-installation of rival search engines and other applications, said the regulator.
Google will also have to develop a tool which allows consumers to choose their default search engine on their preferred Android devices.
“Users will be able to change settings at any time and choose the default search engine which suits their needs,” said the FAS.
Google has confirmed the deal saying it meets the interest of all parties. It has also stated it has reached a new commercial agreement with Yandex that “provides new opportunities for Yandex to promote its search service within Chrome (internet browser).”
Commenting on the deal, Alexander Shulgin, the head of Yandex’s Russian operations said, the agreement will have implications for similar cases in Europe and elsewhere.
Following the breaking of this news, Yandex’s Nasdaq-listed shares were up by 7.2% to $24.39 while Google was up 1.2%.
Under the terms of the agreement, Google will still have to pay a $7.85 million (439 million roubles) in fines.