Skip to main content

Google accused of another anti-trust breach by Russian competitor

Google has been accused of breaching Russia’s antitrust laws by a domestic search engine company.

Yandex has issued its claim to the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia, arguing that Google’s inclusion of its own search features onto Android devices violates competition regulations.

Read more: Google holds strong against EU pressure for worldwide ‘right to be forgotten’

The Russian search engine, which holds 60 per cent of the domestic market, also believes that Google’s refusal to allow device manufacturers to include competing services has adversely affected its presence on the Android ecosystem.

A Yandex spokesperson told the BBC that its share of the Android search market in Russia has fallen from 52 per cent to just 44 per cent over the past year. The company argues that Google’s practices go against the open-source principles supposedly at the heart of its Android operating system.

Moreover, the fact that Google only allows official downloads to take place through its own Play Store also harms rival businesses. In order for smartphone manufacturers to install Google Play, they must also include Google Mobile Services in its entirety. This includes a number of apps such as Gmail and Google Search.

Yandex’s PR director Ochir Mandzhikov has also released statement online in which he criticises the search engine giant.

"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," he said. "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."

CNET reports that Yandex has been told by three separate smartphone manufacturers, Fly, Explay and Prestigio, that it cannot be included on their handsets.

Read more: Google blocks Mozilla Firefox from entering the Android Play Store

Perhaps of even greater concern than the Yandex complaint, Google is also at the centre of a wider investigation by the European Commission over its competitive practices.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.