Russia finds that Google is abusing its mobile dominance

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Russia finds that Google is abusing its mobile dominance

Remember how Russian search firm Yandex claimed that Google was abusing its lead in mobile by making Android phone makers pre-install some Google apps, and precluding some third-party apps? Well, Russia agrees. The country's anti-monopoly regulator has determined that Google's app policy violates national competition law. The exact penalty won't be decided until sometime after September 28th, but Google will at least have to alter its approach to apps. It may also have to cough up as much as 15 percent of its Russian revenue from 2014.

Google's Russian branch is declining to comment on the decision, but it's hard to imagine that the internet giant will simply accept the outcome and move on. If it does, it may have to let phone designers install more competing apps (such as Yandex's search app and store) on devices that support Google Play, and allow more prominent positions for those third-party titles. Those changes would undoubtedly cut into Google's bottom line -- it's not going to make much money from search ads or Play purchases if the relevant software stays buried in your app drawer. Not every country shares Russia's views on Google's market position, but it's a large enough nation to deal a serious blow.

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