Google at centre of Android antitrust complaint in Russia

Google building

Russian search engine Yandex has complained to the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia that the inclusion of Google services on Android devices violates the country's antitrust laws.

Yandex may hold 60 per cent of Russia's search market, but thinks Google's installation of its own search engine and apps suite, which includes Google Drive, Maps and Gmail, on all Android devices is unfair.

Yandex's PR director Ochir Mandzhikov said in a statement: "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.

"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."

The company also detailed examples of three smartphone vendors - Prestigio, Fly and Explay - that have reportedly refused to include Yandex's search engine and additional services because they already have Google's suite of services integrated.

"Chances are high that Google will continue this practice. It is not only Yandex or other large developers, whose services compete [with] Google's, that are under threat, but also the device manufacturers. But ultimately, it is the end-users who suffer because of inferior services," the statement continued.

Other companies believe Google is breaching competition regulations because it only allows official apps to be downloaded from the Play Store rather than third party ones, harming other firms' chances of increasing downloads.

Android's smartphone market share has fallen from 52 per cent to 44 per cent over the last year, because many people believe the open source nature of the Android operating system goes against Google's closed principles.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.