Google faces Russian antitrust probe for anticompetitive practices
Google is facing yet another antitrust investigation.
The Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia launched a probe against Google on Friday for alleged anticompetitive practices that violate Russian antitrust laws.
The probe was launched after the Russian search engine Yandex accused Google of forcing device manufacturers to pre-install certain Google apps on their products and set the search default preference to Google.
Yandex said that in order to install Google Play device makers have to add the entire lineup of Google Mobile Services, including Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps, and other Google apps.
“We have studied the complaint and decided to open proceedings regarding the violation of anti-monopoly regulation,” a spokeswoman for the FAS told Reuters.
Google denied claims that it monopolizes the Android mobile market.
“Device makers are free to install the apps they choose and consumers always have complete control over the apps on their devices,” Google said in a statement emailed to Reuters.
Igor Artemyev, head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia, announced the launch of the probe on Friday.
Mr. Artemyev said, “When Yandex notified us, we reviewed and found evidence of the alleged legal violations and today we opened a case against Google.”
Anticompetitive accusations is an ongoing problem for Google
European regulators have been trying to gather information on whether Google has been promoting its own Android apps and services over apps created by other developers.
Sergei Libin, an analyst at Raiffeisen Bank, told The Wall Street Journal that Russia is “more protectionist” toward its companies than the European Union , “So Yandex has a higher chance of its request to probe Google succeeding,” he added.
There is also another lawsuit in the US that has been made against Google – for very similar reasons. Two individuals filed a lawsuit accusing Google of forcing Android device makers to make Google’s own apps the default, which limit rival apps.