Google loses appeal against Russia’s Android antitrust ruling

From ArsTechnica:

Google’s appeal against an antitrust ruling over its Android operating system in Russia was tossed out by Moscow’s ninth arbitration court on Wednesday.

The ad giant was fined 438 million rubles (£5.25 million, $6.85 million) by the country’s competition watchdog, the Federation Antimonopoly Service (FAS) last week. FAS found that Google had imposed restrictive contracts on mobile phone manufacturers who want to use its Android operating system, forcing them to pre-install other Google services, while blocking those of rivals.

As well as the fine, FAS ordered Google to mend its ways and floated the possibility of an out of court settlement. However, the two sides failed to strike such a deal, FAS said on Tuesday. Today, the court rejected Google’s appeal against binding obligations to resolve the case.

FAS spokesperson Elena Zaeva said:

The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the court of first instance in force, confirming the legality of the decision and the requirements of FAS Russia. The prescription period set by it must be fulfilled by Google in its entirety. We are confident that the requirements create fair conditions for effective competition in the rapidly growing market for mobile applications.

This is the second appeal Google has lost in the case, which dates back to a February 2014 complaint lodged by Russian search firm Yandex.

Google said, in response to questions from Ars, that it wouldn’t comment until its legal team has fully reviewed the ruling.

FAS said in a statement last week, that Russian law applied to all companies operating in the country.

Google is also facing almost identical charges in the European Union. Brussels’ competition chief Margrethe Vestager …

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