The Wall Street Journal reports Google has been found guilty by Russian competition regulators of “abusing” its dominant position a market leader.
This verdict follows investigations into antitrust complaints against Google by other companies based in Russia, including search engine Yandex.
Complaints stem from the fact that Google is allegedly stifling competition by packaging its Android operating system with a number of its own apps.
Companies argue the practice of pre-loading Android devices with Google apps deters people from using third-party alternatives. Yandex, for example, complains that the pre-installation of the Google Search app hurts its ability to compete as a search engine.
Yandex is currently the top search engine in Russia, but its market share is being eroded as more consumers adopt Android devices. Android, of course, encourages the use of Google as the system-wide default search engine.
An antitrust probe into these practices ensued, which has led to the guilty verdict we have today. Google has declined to comment on these allegations until the full details of the ruling are released in two weeks.
Along with releasing the details of the ruling, Russia may decide to issue fines and/or require Google to make changes to its business practices.
This is far from the first time Google has been accused and/or found guilty of abusing its market position. It seems like every other week there’s a government agency accusing Google of stifling competition.
Although its a widespread concern, Google has yet to make any significant changes to its business practices as a result of these accusations.
We’ll see as this plays out whether or not Google will change the way it bundles its own apps with Android devices in Russia. More details will be released towards the end of the month.