Google to be fined for Microsoft-esque anti-competitive practices in Russia
Remember when Microsoft had to pay up for baking in its Microsoft Explorer web browser to Windows while failing to provide alternatives for users? Microsoft sure remembers having to spend more than €500 million to satisfy a fine issued by the European Commission. Indeed, Google has made some decisions with its Play Store policies that may or may not have blurred the line between promoting its own interest and discouraging competition. But the search giant now finds itself under penalty from Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service for a similar offense.
Domestically-based search engine company Yandex launched the case in February, complaining about how Google packaged installation of its Google Play store with house-developed mobile apps, like the search engine, Google Drive and others. All of these apps allegedly received more or better visibility on the home screens than other competing apps. Yandex also says the FAS found “the existence of agreements on prohibition of pre-installation of competitors’ apps.”
The preliminary result of this will be a fine tallying up to 15 percent of Play Store revenues in Russia from 2014. For some perspective, analysts say that the Russian market ranks 4th in Play Store downloads in Q2 of this year.
There could be more charges coming against Google soon as the EU is also investigating anti-trust claims.
An earlier version of this story mislabeled the amount of the fine the European Commission to Microsoft as €500 billion. Pocketnow regrets the error.