Google is facing another antitrust problem, this time with Russia. The anti-monopoly regulatory body of Russia has given Google the deadline of November 18th to change their agreement on OEM licensing which makes the manufacturers to add Google services, if they want to access Google play.
According to anti-monopoly service, Google is using their dominance in the market position to install their apps in all phones with Android. Russia’s Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) gave the ruling in September 2015. According to the agency the contract clause made by the Mountain view, California based company forced device makers to install only Google apps and this prevented their competitors from getting a foothold in the market.
On this Monday FAS made a statement that Google should modify the agreements with the producers of mobile devices within a month and should remove the anti-competitive clauses from its agreement that restrict the installment of other apps and services. FAS wants to restore the competition in the market. If the internet giant fails to make the necessary changes in their agreements by the deadline given, the company could face a fine of up to15% of their revenue made in 2014 from Russia from the pre-installed apps.
The ruling was issued by FAS based on a complaint given by one of the leading online search company in Russia, Yandex. Yandex issued a complaint citing that Google is using their platform in an unlawful way to have a competitive edge to their products. It was found that Google also prevented OEM’s from installing the other competing services in some cases.
Yandex was pleased with the ruling given by FAS. Yandex said that though the professional competence of Google is beyond doubt, there is no need to have restrictions and to prohibit competition if they truly believe in the superiority of their product.
Though the decision made by FAS is not going to affect the Android users outside Russia it could have repercussions on Google’s antitrust issues in the UK and the US. The changes that will be made by Google can alter the appearance of Android. The features like search, navigation and email will get changed in the OS. Changes will also happen in web browsing and music.
Google responded that the android device manufacturers and owners can deviate from Google products if they want. The android device makers are free to decide whether to use Google apps or not and the consumers are free to use any applications from competitors.