A Russian arbitration court on Monday dismissed an appeal by Google and stood by an earlier ruling that held the Silicon Valley search giant guilty of breaking Russia’s anti-monopoly laws by abusing its dominant position with its Android mobile platform. The previous ruling was passed by the country's anti-monopoly watchdog in September 2015, following a complaint by Yandex, the operator of Russia’s most widely used search engine.
Russia’s competition watchdog, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), said last year that Google had broken the law by requiring pre-installation of certain applications on mobile devices running on Android, according to the Russian Legal Information Agency (Rapsi).
Following the September ruling that saw Google charged with abuse of its dominant market position, the company was given until Dec. 18 to remedy the situation. Google now has to amend its contracts with smartphone manufacturers and pay a fine, according to Rapsi.
FAS head Igor Artemyev told Russian news agency Tass in January that the size of the penalty for violating Russia’s competition law for Google may amount to 7 percent of its turnover in 2014.
The case was opened in February last year when Yandex alleged that manufacturers had to abide by Google’s terms to gain access to key elements of the Android operating system including Google Play, the company’s official app for Android games, apps and other content. The case was considered behind closed doors after the California company protested that Yandex — which enjoys about 60 percent market share in Russia — would have access to its classified information.
The ruling by the Russian court comes less than a month after the European Union decided to revive a probe into Google’s advertising practices, adding to an active antitrust investigation by the EU into the company’s android operating system and shopping search services.