The last couple of years have seen Google being targeted by numerous anti-trust investigations and lawsuits regarding its Android policies, which essentially bully smartphone makers into bundling Google’s apps with their Android devices. The problem with this is that it gives Google a massive advantage over companies trying to make third-party alternatives to its apps and services. Yandex, which is often referred to as the Google of Russia, brought this issue to Russian anti-trust regulators not too long ago, and now the Russian government has given Google one month to amend all of its agreements with smartphone makers so that they’re no longer bullied into bundling Google apps with their devices.
Russia’s antitrust regulator has ordered Google Inc. to amend agreements with smartphone producers that it said disadvantage third-party applications on devices running the Android operating system. Mountain View, California-based Google is abusing its market dominance through Android, the regulator ruled last month after a complaint from local search engine provider Yandex NV, which has been losing market share to its U.S. rival on mobile devices. Google has allowed Android-phone producers to use its application store Google Play on the condition that they also pre-install services from the company, including search, and prioritize those icons on screens, the Russian regulator said Sept. 14. Yandex has said Android’s default options push mobile users to Google services, limiting consumers’ ability to choose such services from Yandex or other vendors. “To restore competition on the market, Google should amend agreements with mobile-device producers within a month and exclude the anti-competitive clauses,” Russia’s Federal Anti-Monopoly Service said in a statement on its Website on Monday. Yandex shares rose as much as 13 percent in U.S. trading and were up 7.3 percent at $12.17 at 12:40 pm in New York.