Google slapped with a $6.8 million fine by Russia
The Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) has fined Google with a fine of Rbs438 million ($6.8 million) for the violation of competition rules and abusing its position in the market as the world’s most popular mobile Operating System. The penalty imposed by Russia follows up in the footsteps of the European Union who, in April fined Google for unfair competition practices and marketing.
The fine was determined as a share of Google Play’s domestic sales, a Federal Anti-Monopoly Service representative said. Local rules stipulate that fines represent 1 percent to 15 percent of a violator’s revenue for 2014, the official said, without elaborating on the exact figure. The fine of $6.8 million is relatively a small figure for Google, which has raked in a revenue of about $75 billion last year. However, this new fine from the FAS is just the latest in a series of similar antitrust and anticompetitive allegations that Google is facing around the world.
The case against the American IT company took form last year as a complaint from Yandex, the top Russian rival of Google. The authorities concluded that Google breached the rules of competition and forced manufacturers to include Google search on the home screen of all Android mobile devices and to pair services with Google Play. The company also allegedly restricted mobile device manufacturers from pre-installing services of competitors such as Yandex.
The Russian authorities has ordered Google to change its terms and agreements with the mobile manufacturers and to pay the penalty within a time period of 60 days (2 months). Google’s press service has issued a statement, saying:
“We have received a notification from FAS about the imposed fine. We will familiarize ourselves with the ruling before deciding on further actions. In the meantime, we continue to talk to all invested parties to help consumers, device manufacturers and developers thrive on Android in Russia.”
In the Russian Federation the market of Internet search service is being dominated by Yandex, by retaining about 60% of the total market share. Unlike the most parts of the world, Google is not the leader in Internet services. Even if the fine imposed is fairly small for the California-based company, it is the latest in a growing list of allegations and regulatory issues cropping up against the IT company all across the world, even in their home-turf, United States.