Google is without a doubt the world’s most popular and biggest search engine. It has been providing results to our day-to-day searches. Recently, Google, has been in trouble for all the wrong reasons. It has recently lost its anti-monopoly appeal in Russia. The appeal was against a ruling, which related to the pre-installation of Android core apps on smartphone, mobiles and/or tablets.
The Moscow Arbitration Court has ruled that Google violated its dominant position in the market. The Moscow Arbitration Court alleges that it did this through its free and Open Source mobile OS platform “Android.” The allegation is that Google is forcing its core apps on manufacturers. These services include Google Maps, YouTube, and Google Calendar, Google Contacts, and many others. It is also alleged that this was a move to reduce further competition in this space.
Yandex brought this complaint to the Moscow Arbitration Court. The complaint was filed in February 2015. Yandex is a search engine competing with Google that is based in Russia. Yandex has previous alleged that Google has broken competition rules in the country. The main gist of this is Google is forcing manufacturers to pre-install its apps. Most of these apps are installed on Android smartphones and tablets.
Google Apps & Market Share Statistics
Liveinternet data conducted a survey in September 2013. At that time, Yandex had a 57.4% share in Russia’s search market. Google on the other hand had only 34.9%. In the share market, Yandex’ share was 62.2% and Google’s share was 26% respectively.
This wasn’t what Google had intended for its operations in Russia. Google wanted a huge share of the Russian market. These statistics were really worrisome to Google. It meant that Google was not getting that much market share as it had hoped to. Google wanted to capture the Russian search market share quickly. Google started to roll out Google Apps in Android smartphones and tablets. With the roll out of Google Apps, it gained popularity in the Russian market. Google started contracting manufacturers into its ecosystem. Android manufacturers of smartphones and tablets started putting Google Apps as bloatware.
Soon, through Google Apps, Google had total monopoly in the Russian market. Yandex realized this soon enough. There were millions and millions of tablets and smartphones in Russia with Android. With Android, Google was the search engine by default. This led to a huge market share surge for Google. More and more tablets and smartphones in Russia had Google Apps as default.
The 4th largest search engine in the world is Yandex. Android’s popularity in Russia reflected the market share changes in Russia. This forced Yandex to sue Google in February 2015.
Google Apps: No Pre-installations Allowed in Russia
The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) in its original ruling banned Google Apps from being pre-installed. This was in September 2015. This also meant that Google Apps could not be preinstalled on Android smartphones and tablets. Also, Google could not block other apps from competing service providers to be installed alongside or instead of Google Apps.
Google had appealed this ruling. This was last year in Russia. However, the Moscow Arbitration Court rejected this appeal. The FAS opined that Google’s Google Apps installation broke Russian business laws. This was because it prohibited the installation of other producer’s apps on Android smartphones and tablets or Android devices.
FAS has said that Yandex will be given preference. Literally, Yandex has dominance over other search engines. Yandex has emerged as the winner. FAS also directed that Android will now not come with Google apps pre-installed. The non-installation of Google apps on Android tablets and smartphones in Russia is a big blow to Google.
Google has to amend its contract with manufacturers in Russia for complying with this ruling. Google will be paying penalties based on its earnings in Russia.
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