Google reaches $7.8M settlement with Russia in antitrust case

Google reaches $7.8M settlement with Russia in antitrust case
© Getty

Google is paying a $7.8 million fine and agreeing to open up its Android mobile operating system to competitors' search engines in Russia.

The settlement ends a two-year fight with Russian antitrust regulators.

The Russian FAS agency in 2015 found Google was violating competition laws by including its own search tool on the operating system, reports Reuters.

ADVERTISEMENT
Google would preload its own apps, including the search engine, on phones running Android. Russian users didn't have the option of changing to a different search engine on those phones.

Now, under the terms of the settlement, the Android operating system will no longer exclusively have Google apps preinstalled in Russia, and users will be able to pick their default search engines, according to the FAS.

The $7.8 million fine is roughly 9 percent of Google's 2014 revenue in Russia.

The decision will give an opportunity for the Russian search engine Yandex NV to increase its own market share in mobile search. Yandex had originally brought the complaint against Google.

The settlement also comes as Google fights similar antitrust allegations from the European Union over its mobile operating system. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company also faces probes from EU competition regulators over its adwords program and shopping search.

Google has vigorously defended itself against the allegations, saying that it faces significant competition in Europe. Google has argued that the EU's analysis unfairly excludes Apple as a competitor. Google also insists its practices benefit consumers.