Russian Regulatory Agency Claims Google Violates Antitrust Laws With Android App Bundling
It seems as though Google just can't catch a break with foreign governments. In recent months, we've seen the EU pressure the company over supposed favoritism it's showing itself within shopping results, and now, Russia is accusing Google of breaking antitrust laws by bundling its own apps with Android. Oy!
In particular, Google was hit with an antimonopoly case here. This comes as a direct result of the company forcing companies that ship devices with Android to include basic Google software. That would include Gmail, Photos, Hangouts, Google+, Chrome, among others.
If this all sounds familiar, it could be because Google faced similar issues earlier this year, but managed to escape antitrust litigation in the US. That came a mere week after Russian search giant Yandex filed a complaint against Google for its anti-competitive practices. While Google managed to win its case in the US, Russia is a formidable beast, so this challenge isn't going to be easy.
While it would be nice to have complete freedom over any Android device you own, if Russia is successful with its desire to get Google to stop forcing the bundling of its apps with its OS, it could actually introduce a hassle for many. Generally, if you're wrapped into Google's ecosystem, you're likely to take advantage of many of the apps that come included - especially Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, Maps, and of course, the Play Store.
If Google is in fact going to be forced to change its agreements with mobile device makers for the Russian market, we'll find out in just a couple of weeks.