Yandex asks regulator to check Google for violations of Russian antimonopoly legislation

Russian search engine Yandex has accused Google of illegally favoring its own services by forcing Android device manufacturers to install its own apps and exclude apps from competitors.

Source: Sergey Kuznetsov / RIA Novosti

Russian search engine Yandex has sent a request to the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) asking to check Google for violations of Russian antimonopoly legislation. The request was submitted on Feb.18, said a Yandex company statement.

Yandex wants the regulator to step in and force Google to unbundle its search and other key apps from the Android mobile operating system.

Yandex is also involved in an investigation being carried out by the European Commission, which is examining the situation with the dominance of Google Android.

"We believe that services for users such as search, maps, mail, and so on must be separated from the Android OS," said Yandex.

In the statement, the company says that three smartphone vendors - Prestigio, Fly, and Explay - notified it last year that they are unable to pre-install Yandex services on their Android devices.

It also complains that device makers are increasingly prohibited from installing any services from Google's competitors.

"The openness of the Android OS is now in the past. The basis of Android devices has become the Google Mobile Services (GMS) closed technology package, including Google Play and some other components.

“The dependence of smartphone manufacturers and developers on GMS has grown so much that Google can dictate the rules of the game. If producers do not agree to promote Google services on their devices, and in particular, to set the Google search as default, they may lose access to the components of the Android platform, on which the success of their smartphones depends," said Yandex.

“We believe that device manufacturers should have a choice as to which search provider to set as the default or which services to have pre-installed on the device. Google should not prevent manufacturers from pre-installing competitor apps,” said Yandex's PR director, Ochir Mandzhikov.

Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh said in December 2014 in an interview with the Vedomosti newspaper that his company would not apply to the FAS. "We must fight the bullies ourselves," he said. But he added that an appeal would be made if Yandex’s market share continued to fall.

 

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