Russia, Google reach $7.8 million settlement on Android case

As part of the settlement, Google will pay 439 million roubles (around $7.85 million) in fines.

Russian officials later that year found Google guilty of violating the country's antimonopoly law by favoring its own services over rivals like Yandex.

Russian regulators first ruled Google's practices a violation of antitrust rules in fall of 2015.

"Today is an important day for Russian consumers as Google has agreed to take significant steps that open up its Android platform in Russia", said Arkady Volozh, Chief Executive Officer of Yandex.

The Moscow-based company had accused the search giant's parent, Alphabet, of undermining competition by forcing phone makers to preinstall a set bundle of Google apps on Android.

A long running battle between Google and Russian authorities over the Android operating system used on many popular smartphones has finally been settled.

Google faces a similar tussle with regulators in the European Union, where competition chief Margrethe Vestager believes it broke competition rules. This widget will prompt users with a "choice screen", where they can select between Yandex, Google, or any other search engine who may sign a commercial agreement with Google for inclusion on this list.

Should the European Union investigation go against Google, it could be fined up to $7.4 billion, the equivalent of 10 percent of its global revenue.

Google will also develop a new Chrome widget for new devices as a replacement for the standard Google search widget on the home screen. The addition of a choice window provides users with the opportunity to choose their default search engine.

Igor Artemiev, head of the FAS, said, "Implementation of the settlement's terms will be an effective means to secure competition between developers of mobile applications".

A Russian court approved the settlement agreement on Monday.

"We managed to find a balance between the necessity to develop the Android ecosystem and interests of third-party developers for promoting their mobile applications and services on Android-based devices".

  • Patricia Jimenez