Russia fines Google nearly $7MM for ‘anticompetitive’ app pre-install rules
Google still has recourse to further appeals, but likelihood of success is small.
Last year, the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation (FAS) found that Google violated its competition law by requiring phone makers to pre-install selected Google apps on Android as a condition of gaining access to the Google Play store. The complaint was initially brought by Google competitor Yandex, which also filed a similar antitrust complaint in Europe.
In September 2015, FAS announced its decision and gave Google until November to change Android contracts to eliminate the pre-install requirements. Google then pledged to fight the ruling but was unsuccessful in its initial appeal.
Now, according to a report from Bloomberg, FAS has fined Google $6.75 million (438 million rubles). The fine represents a percentage of Google’s Russian sales. The body had legal authority to impose a penalty of up to 15 percent, according to the report.
Google told Bloomberg that it will study the decision. Another appeal hearing is apparently scheduled for August 16. If Google exhausts the appeals process unsuccessfully, it will ultimately have to pay and change the contracts.
A nearly identical action is pending in Europe, while the US FTC recently announced it will also reexamine Google’s app pre-installation requirements.