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After two years Google to pay for abusing market position in Russia

Staff Writer |
Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service and Google have signed an amicable agreement for six years and nine months.

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Under it Google will pay all imposed and contested fines shortly and mend violations on the local market, while all court suits will be revoked, the service’s Deputy Director Alexei Dotsenko told reporters.

“The Arbitration Court of the Moscow District approved today an amicable agreement between the Federal Antimonopoly Service and Google bringing an almost two-year court opposition to an end,” Dotsenko said.

“First, Google will mend its violations of the competition law. Second, we’ll jot down certain parameters for the future. Third, Google will pay a 438 million ruble fine. Fourth, the antimonopoly warrant will be fulfilled in such a way.”

The service accused Google of abusing its dominance on the market of preinstalled application stores on Android devices following a complaint of local Internet company Yandex in 2015.

Deputy Director of the Service’s Legal Department Larisa Vovkivskaya said that after the court’s approval of the truce, Google will pay simultaneously all the fines imposed by the service - the 438 million rubles and two 500,000 ruble fines for Google Inc. and Google Ireland Ltd. for non-fulfillment of the antitrust warrant.

“Besides, we’ve agreed that the service revokes its lawsuit to force the company to obey, and Google revokes its lawsuits contesting determinations of the warrant,” she said. “Under the law, there are two months to pay the fines. Since we have the agreement, I think, Google will pay sooner.”

Google is obliged not to impose any restrictions on installation of rivalling search engines or applications, including on the main screen.

The company must not promote the Google search engine as the only search engine and must refuse to use in contracts any clauses contradicting the amicable agreement.

For the devices in circulation, Google will design an active window of choice to allow users to change search engines and application easily, if needed.

The new feature will appear upon the system’s upgrade, Dotsenko said.

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