Android Nougat Statue (AP)

Russian court rules against Google's antitrust appeal yet again

The "mandatory presets" in Android OS constitute an unfair market advantage, the court decided


Scott Eric Kaufman
August 17, 2016 6:42PM (UTC)

On August 12th, Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) declared that Google's packaging of apps on its Android OS-driven technology violated antitrust laws and levied a $6.7 million fine on the American company.

The FAS argued that requiring other vendors install "mandatory preset of Google applications and the search system and their mandatory placement in the priority positions on device home pages" in order to have access to the Google Play application store constituted an unfair market advantage. Essentially, it agreed with the argument of native Russian search engine Yandex, which was an original party to the suit.

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Google has yet to announce whether it will pay the fine or continue the appeal, but given the company is still under investigation by the European Commission (EC) for for the very same practice, it is unlikely that company will admit to engaging in monopolistic practices, as any such admission could be used against the company in future antitrust proceedings.

With a nearly 80 percent share in the mobile OS market, Google has created an environment in which, as the EC's Margrethe Vestager said, "it has become too difficult for other products, other app stores to present their apps to the consumer."


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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