Following a 2015 ruling of anti-monopoly behavior involving Android, Google has settled with Russia’s regulatory agency in an out-of-court deal. Google will allow apps and competing search engines to be pre-loaded on devices, with a new tool to select the latter.
The complaint originated from rival Russian search engine Yandex, with anti-monopoly watchdog FAS imposing a 438 million rouble ($7.8 million) fine in 2016 after finding Google of abusing its market position.
While Yandex framed the decision at the time as a way to “restore competition on the market,” it came as the search engine’s traffic began declining due to the popularity of Android.
Google has yet to pay the monetary settlement, but this deal — which has already been approved in court — will be in effect for a period of six years and nine months. The company is dropping its demand for services exclusivity with no restrictions on the install of competing applications and search engines.
As part of the latter, Google is also developing a tool that will allow users to select the default search engine. While Chrome allows users to easily change the search engine, there is no way at the system-level to have easy access to another engine.