Russian Competition Advocates Open Antitrust Case Against Google

Google is one of the most popular search engines in the world, and although there is a plethora of search engine alternatives, some countries believe that Google has a monopoly on the search engine market, specifically on mobile devices.

A competition watchdog in Russia opened a case today against Google after Russian search engine company Yandex filed an antitrust complaint earlier this week. Yandex wants regulators to specifically look at the Android operating system, which has an 86 percent majority on Russian smartphones, and determine how Google packages its services on the system. Yandex believes that Google is abusing its market majority, as Google search is the default search engine on Android, and that makes it more difficult for companies like Yandex to promote their product.

Outside of Google, Yandex is the most popular search engine in Russia with a 60 percent market share, but on Android, Yandex drops down to only 44 percent market share. Despite Yandex's 16 percent drop on mobile devices, Google claims that it isn't pushing competitors out of Android, stating that the user always has "complete control" in terms of which apps are on their devices.

Yandex's complaint is just the latest of many antitrust complaints made against Google. The biggest complaint resurfaced last year when the European Commission reopened its antitrust investigation into Google's search and advertising businesses. The group also discussed the plan of a separate investigation solely focused on the Android operating system. The commission's investigation started in 2010 when it discovered that Google had 95 percent of the search market for the entire continent.

It's unknown as to how long the investigation will continue for Yandex and the European Commission, but both groups believe that European-based companies should have a fair chance in the online and mobile game. Android can still dominate on smartphones, but companies like Yandex want Google to give consumers choices when it comes to app services and not just place its apps as the default option.

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  • Onus
    Google claims that it isn't pushing competitors out of Android, stating that the user always has "complete control" in terms of which apps are on their devices.
    This is certainly disingenuous, if it isn't an outright lie, as third parties (e.g. mobile providers) may make the bulk of the decisions, not users. For users, rooting is generally required, which, even if possible, may void warranties and prevent updates.
  • leoscott
    If you don't like it Onus, buy a different phone, or in Russia do they make you by an Android?
  • JoeMomma
    If you can't beat 'em, sue them and take their money.
  • rokit
    Yandex: We'd love to do what Google does but we can't so we pretend to be good ones and grab some cash! Pleeeease.

    "Google search is the default search engine on Android"
    No sh*t Sherlock. But Google doesn't control the defaults on devices other than Nexus. If Yandex wants to be more popular they need to speak to companies that ship default Google browser not Google itself.

    Android is OSS unlike Windows and Google has no control on mobile manufactories(atleast on paper) so the problem lies within a bad Yandex head managers, nothing else.
  • Onus
    That is a good point. It is not Google's fault (assuming absence of payola) if the device-makers do not put Yandex (or other non-Google software) on their products.
    My issue was only with the statement that users get to choose; no, not really, unless they are technically astute and don't mind killing their warranties and software updates. That too is not necessarily Google's fault, but you'd think they'd know that's how it is.
  • scififone
    Google apps can be easily disabled on any phone that I've had. If they aren't it is not Google's fault certain manufactures make it impossible to disable apps.
  • er0shima
    this is like saying: I'm going to mcdonalds but I want a KFC meal with extra fries.
    For crying out loud....... -___-' ....
  • payne4evr
    russia can't really produce a smartphone.. so they should use what they have.. drop android and hold a pierogi to your ear and talk.. onlookers won't be surprised.. that's about what they amount to as a society over there. either complain complain... or duhhhh.....
  • Larry Litmanen
    I hope they force Google to change its policies, Google is truly an evil company. Spying, phishing, killing competition.
  • agnickolov
    Sounds eerily familiar. Anybody remember the antitrust cases against Microsoft 17 years ago? They could even impose the same solution -- require Android to present a search engine choice the first time the user starts their device.