Yandex, Google and FAS Reach Settlement on Android in Russian Federation

Arkady Volozh Yandex founder and CEO

The deal was approved by a Russian court earlier on Monday, said FAS deputy head Alexei Dotsenko, adding that it was for a term of six years and nine months.

In August a year ago, Russian authorities slapped a 438 million ruble ($6.75m) fine on Google, concluding that the company was "forcing its partners to feature its services".

Google is paying a $7.8 million fine and agreeing to open up its Android mobile operating system to competitor's search engines in Russian Federation. Russian antitrust regulators also fined the company $7.8 million. In addition, Google will not be able to demand that other competing search engines and apps can not be installed.

"Today is an important day for Russian consumers as Google has agreed to take significant steps that open up its Android platform in Russia", Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh said in a statement.

The dispute arose after Russia-based search company Yandex submitted a complaint to the FAS about Google's practices. It also said it had reached a commercial agreement with Yandex that "provides new opportunities for Yandex to promote its search service within Chrome (internet browser)". Google's commercial settlement with Yandex is separate from its legal settlement with the regulator.

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Now the search giant has settled, agreeing to pay a $7.8 million fine as well as allowing phone manufacturers to choose any default search engine.

Google confirmed the deal, saying it met the interests of all parties.

For the devices that are now circulating on the Russian market, Google will develop an active "choice window" for the Chrome browser which at the time of the next update will provide the user with the opportunity to choose their default search engine.

I am thankful to the Federal Antimonopoly Service for applying the law in a manner that effectively and efficiently restores competition to the market for the benefit of Russian users. Google had been appealing the decision prior to the recent settlement.

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