Russia hit Google with a $6.8 million fine over alleged antitrust violations on Android

Another day, another antitrust headache for Google.

The Californian search giant has been hit with a $6.8 million fine in Russia over its Android mobile operating system, Ars Technica reported on Thursday.

Google, by allegedly forcing smartphone manufacturers to install Google Search and not pre-loading rival apps, violated competition rules, the Federation Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) ruled.

Google, which is appealing the ruling, confirmed the fine in a statement: “We have received notice of the fine from FAS and will analyse closely before deciding our next steps. In the meantime, we continue to talk to all invested parties to help consumers, device manufacturers and developers thrive on Android in Russia.”

The Russian ruling is similar to antitrust cases Google is facing elsewhere in the world. In Europe, the American technology company has been charged with abusing its dominant position on mobile to promote its products over those of its competitors. And on Friday morning, The Financial Times reported that South Korea’s antitrust watchdog is investigating Google over potential antitrust violations.

$6.8 million is chump change for Google, which has annual global revenues of $75 billion. But the Russian regulator is also asking Google to change how it does business — a demand that, if successful, would have a much more significant impact on the company.

The Russian complaint stems from a 2014 complaint against Google by Yandex, a local search competitor. The FAS ruled against it in 2015, it appealed, and lost in March 2016.

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