Google fined $6.7 million by Russian antitrust authorities

Google has been fined 438 million rubles ($6.75 million) by the Russian antitrust authority for abusing its market position following a complaint by Yandex, Russia's biggest search engine.

Google has been found guilty of forcing Android smartphone makers to install its search engine on their devices, which has been seen to breach "protecting competition" laws.

Yelena Zayeva, the head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service's (FAS) department for regulating communications and IT said that the ruling "will allow the development of competition on the mobile software market in Russia, which will have a positive effect for consumers."

In response, Google said: "We have received notice of the fine from FAS and will analyse closely before deciding our next steps. In the meantime, we continue to talk to all invested parties to help consumers, device manufacturers and developers thrive on Android in Russia."

This is not the first time Google has faced antitrust charges. The European Commission has previously targeted the company over its Adwords service and for prioritising its own products and services over those of its rivals on the Android mobile operating system.

Of the latter ruling, Europe’s competition chief Margrethe Vestager said: "We believe that Google’s behaviour denies consumers a wider choice of mobile apps and services and stands in the way of innovation by other players, in breach of E.U. antitrust rules. Our preliminary view is that Google has abused its dominant position.”

Google will have two months to pay the new FAS fine, despite insisting that consumers are free to choose whether or not to use its services.

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