Russia fines Google $6.75 million for pre-installing apps on Android

From The Verge:

Google has been hit by a $6.75 million antitrust fine in Russia for requiring phone manufacturers to pre-install its apps on Android mobile devices. The majority of smartphones and tablets solid in Russia run on Android, and domestic search engine rival Yandex filed a complaint last year that the US company was abusing its position. The fine itself is small — less than what the company makes in an hour, notes Recode — but the decision shows increasing enmity to Google in Europe.

One of the many antitrust complaints currently being levied against Google by the EU focuses on the same issue: accusing the company of abusing its dominant position in the market by forcing manufacturers to preinstall its services on Android devices. Unlike the rest of Europe, though, Russia has a viable competitor to Google — Yandex has about 60 percent of the search market in the country. With the shift to mobile, though, the company seems worried it’s being out-maneuvered by Google for the future of search.

And Russia’s antitrust watchdog, the FSA, already has its next target, and has opened up a new investigation into claims that Apple is involved in price-fixing for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. The agency claims that after the devices hit the Russian market in October last year, prices from Apple and 16 other resellers stayed at the same rate for a long time. “The FAS believes that such a coincidence could be the result of a coordination of the pricing of Russian resellers by the Apple group of companies,” said the agency.

Continue Reading