The international front seems scattered with hurdles for Google as Yandex, a competitor of Google’s on the Russian scene, has recently filed a complaint against the tech giant with Russia’s antimonopoly regulating agency. In this complaint, Yandex accuses Google of allegedly having violated the country’s antitrust laws.
On Wednesday, Yandex officials explained that its complaint is focused on Google’s mobile services, particularly the Android operating system bundled with the company’s search app. According to Yandex, Android describes itself as an open platform, however, behind the scenes, device makers are required to pre-install particular Google applications as well as set the default search engine to Google. Yandex even accused the tech giant of prohibiting device makers from installing competitor’s applications on their devices.
Such a lawsuit would represent a massive knockback for Google, especially since Android devices currently represent more than 85 percent of the entirety of smartphones sold in Russia at present. It’s true that, in such circumstances, Yandex as well as other competing services face tremendous competition.
“Google should not prevent manufacturers from preinstalling competitor apps,”
Ochir Mandzhikov, Yandex spokesperson said in a statement, while insisting that device manufacturers as well as consumers should be given the opportunity of choosing which search provider they should set on their devices. Yandex added that such measures clearly contradict Russia’s antitrust legislature but that it was imperative that the Android operating system be unbundled from Google’s search engine as well as the company’s end-user services.
Apart from Russia, where Yandex represents the largest search provider (more than 60 percent of the overall market share on desktops and 44 percent on Android), the company isn’t really a noteworthy presence. In its attempts of properly competing with Google, Yandex attempted to partner-up with other giants in the field, such as Apple or Microsoft. Additionally, it began creating other services, from maps and shopping searches to local search and individual apps, which are currently packaged cleverly so as to spread Yandex’s reach in this overly-competitive market.
The Russian company’s claim has some smartphone vendors who have confirmed its story: Explay, Fly and Prestigio admitted that they were no longer able to install services provided by Yandex on Android devices. Such limitations are, as Yandex suggests, a result of Google’s practices and, chances are, that they will not end.
“It is not only Yandex or other large developers, whose services compete Google’s, that are under threat, but also the device manufacturers.”
the Russian company wrote in its complaint.
Of course, this is no new territory for Google, as Yandex has already filed several complaints against the tech giant in not just Europe but also in the US. These other complaints have also addressed Google’s aggressive strategies, which efficiently lock out the competition by bundling its end-user apps with the Android OS.
In the meantime, other app store owners have also attempted to file similar antitrust lawsuits against Google Play store. The European Parliament has actually addressed the issue, supporting requests that Google start splitting its search operations from other operations.
Image Source: My Meedia
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