Google is facing charges of violating Russia’s anti-monopoly laws over its insistence that OEMs bundle prominent Google apps onto Android smartphones.
Charges that the search giant abused its market dominance follow a complaint to Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) from Yandex, a Google competitor in Russia that also develops mobile apps and maintains its own Android app store.
On Monday, the FAS agreed, saying that it was illegal for Google to force smartphone vendors to install its apps on Android phones. The requirement, in effect, prevented other developers from having their apps allowed onto Android devices, the FAS said.
Google is expected to be asked to alter its contracts with mobile device-makers to allow apps from other developers to be installed on Android phones, the FAS noted.
While Google’s share of the search market in Russia is not as dominant as it is in Europe and elsewhere, its Android operating system has more than a 60 percent market share in the country, according to data firm Statista.
Google could be fined a percentage of income gained from selling goods in Russia over the violation.