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Google Gives In To Russian Demands, Loosens Android Third-Party Restrictions

Android Device.Dsimic/Wikimedia

Google and Russia have been involved in a bit of a tiff for some time now due to accusations of anti-competitive practices leveled by the country’s antimonopoly watchdog with regards to Android devices. The two forces were locked in a legal struggle, which was recently resolved out of court. It basically involves Google backing off from controlling what goes into the Android devices that are made and sold in Russia.

The core issue that the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) in Russia had with the arrangement that Google had with Android manufacturers was the perceived monopoly that the tech firm was pushing with regards to the apps installed in the devices. Russia wanted Google to allow manufacturers to determine which apps would go into the devices by default and the company finally agreed, The Verge reports.

On top of allowing local smartphone makers in the region to install different web browsing and search engine apps to be installed in the devices they make, Google also had to shell out $7.8 million in fees. Now, the company can no longer enforce any kind of exclusivity on its Russian partners.

It would seem that one of the biggest winners in this development is the search engine company called Yandex, which is actually a pretty big deal in Russia. Effectively Google’s rival in the region, the company joined the trend of filing a lawsuit against the bigger brand for anti-competitive practices. Based on the statement that Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh released, they are in a celebratory mood.

“I am thankful to the Federal Antimonopoly Service for applying the law in a manner that effectively and efficiently restores competition to the market for the benefit of Russian users,” the statement reads.

Naturally, the consumers are also going to benefit from this development because competition breeds innovation and better services. It’s also the exact reason why monopolies are fought so fiercely in developed countries.

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