Russia’s Internet Giant Files Antitrust Complaint Against Google

The top Internet search provider in Russia has filed an antitrust complaint regarding Google's practice of requiring cellphone makers to preinstall its suite of mobile services onto their devices. In its filing with the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia, Yandex said Google's practice negatively affects device manufacturers, competing providers of Internet services and end-users alike.

In addition, Yandex's complaint alleges that makers of Android devices must set Google as the default search application. Google developed the Android operating system, which drives the majority of all mobile devices on today's market.

While the Linux-based Android OS uses open source code, Yandex alleges that Google locks device makers into proprietary applications through the Google Mobile Services (GMS) bundle.

"We believe that device manufacturers should have a choice as to which search provider to set as the default or which services to have preinstalled on the device," said Yandex spokesperson Ochir Mandzhikov. "Google should not prevent manufacturers from preinstalling competitor apps. This is why we are talking about the need to unbundle Google's Android operating system from Google Search and its other end-user services."

One Month to a Decision

Yandex, which reported revenues of $902 million in 2014, is also party to an antitrust investigation against Google being led by the European Commission. Launched in 2010, that antitrust probe concerns several Google practices in which the search giant links query results to its own services over those of competitors, or restricts competing firms from marketing on sites with Google ads.

"This issue has long been on the agenda outside of Russia," according to Yandex. "(R)ecently we have felt the problem in Russia as well. In 2014, three smartphone vendors -- Prestigio, Fly and Explay -- who have been our long-term partners, have notified us that they are no longer able to preinstall Yandex services on...

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