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Google violates competition law in Russia, watchdog says

Google has been hit by anti-monopoly lawsuits all over the world. The Americas, Europe, India, China, have all had (or currently have) some sort of lawsuit against the search giant, claiming the American company abuses its dominant position in the search engine market.

Now, Russia is jumping on the bandwagon, with its anti-monopoly agency saying Google is using Android to promote its other services.

According to a Reuters report, the FAS anti-monopoly body said Google had violated the law by pre-installing certain applications on mobile devices.

The company "could face penalties totalling up to 15 per cent of its 2014 revenue in this part of the Russian market”, it says in the report.

The exact price of the fine is unknown, and FAS said it would make that decision after September 28. It added Google must then pay and change its ways, or risk more fines if violations continue.

Google Russia said it would analyse the decision and declined further comment until then.

A Russian search engine and Google’s biggest competitor in the market, Yandex, welcomed the decision.

"We believe the FAS decision will serve to restore competition on the market," the company said. It filed a complaint against Google with FAS in February, saying it bundled applications from the Google Mobile Services with the Google Play store.

That would require pre-installation of the Google search engine as the default one, and give Google application icons preferential placement on the screen of mobile devices.

"In addition, the investigation confirmed the existence of agreements on prohibition of pre-installation of competitors' apps," Yandex said.