Google has been fined for violating the anti-trust laws in the country
Russian regulators have fined Google a meager amount of $6.75 million after the authorities found that the company used its dominant market position to promote its own services and products against competitors. Last year, Russia started investigations on the antitrust violations against the search engine giant.
With billions of dollars that Google earns each year, this fine looks like peanuts. The Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) said that the fine makes only a small percentage of the company’s 2014 revenue in Russia. According to the local rules, the penalty for such violations is in between 1-15%. However, the regulators haven’t disclosed a certain figure for this case.
Google had violated the antitrust laws as mobile manufacturers were forced to install its own apps and services including search, maps, and others to power phones and tablets with Android software. Third-party apps were also not allowed to be pre-installed. On this note, Yandex – a local search engine, filed a complaint against the company with the regulators.
FAS said that the rules apply to all the companies equally, including the foreign brands. Google’s search engine has dominated the world, but it has so far failed to create its magic in Russia, where Yandex has more than 50% market share. By installing its own apps and services, Google may have grabbed the market share, which made the former file a lawsuit.
Google believes that it did not use its dominant market position in the country and has denied all allegations. It confirmed that it has indeed received the notice fine from FAS and will closely analyze it before it takes any further step. FAS has asked Google to change its partnership clauses with manufacturers as well.
On the other hand, Google has already filed a lawsuit against these required changes. The case is ongoing, with the next hearing scheduled on August 16. The tech giant is ordered to pay the fine with in the next 60 days.
European Union has also pressed similar charges, as it also believes that Google favors its own services and apps over competitors. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is also investigating if Google has taken unfair advantage with its apps such as Google Maps and Google Search.