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Google Loses Anti-Monopoly Appeal In Russia Over Android Bundling ( 63

An anonymous reader shares an update on Google's ongoing battle with Russian regulators: Google suffered a major blow in Russia on Monday, after the Moscow Arbitration court sided with an earlier ruling that Google had violated the country's anti-trust rules by having its apps and services bundled on Android smartphones. Yandex, a Russia-based search engine, last year sued Google over "anti-competitive practices," saying that Google was abusing its dominant position in the market to hurt competition. In response, Google had noted that Android, which roughly owns 80 percent of the market, is a free and open source operating system. At the time, the Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) ruled that Android users must not be catered with Google's homegrown apps and services. The Moscow's Arbitration Court ruling said on Monday that it fully supports the earlier FAS decision. According to an Ars Technica report, "Google will now be required to change its business practices with smartphone makers in Russia, or else face a fine if it fails to adhere to the ruling."
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Google Loses Anti-Monopoly Appeal In Russia Over Android Bundling

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  • WRONG. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Abusing a monopoly is only not ok when you're Microsoft. Please get your prejudices right, Russia.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by paskie ( 539112 )

      Yep, seems like exactly what EU did to Microsoft, making it possible to pick your browser inst. of MSIE when installing Windows XP.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Windows XP wasn't open source; Microsoft controlled every SKU and people weren't legally allowed to make their own.

        • by paskie ( 539112 )

          I can't replace Android with my own system on my phone unless I get lucky and it's rootable either.

        • OEM's, Users, corporates etc etc had full power to replace Internet Explorer and distribute whatever the hell they wanted. You don't need OSS to have choice, conversely you don't need to be a closed source system to restrict choice and options.
          • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

            To be fair []. All indications are people are fully aware of the google store and what is available. For Yandex to be default is something Yandex needs to negotiate with phone sellers and Russian Telecoms rather than with Google. Likely if the Russian government wants change, they need to produce a Government internet search engine based around publicly defined algorithms and make it the legal default, likely all countries should do pretty much the same thing. The huge bias i

            • The exact same thing could have been said for chrome and firefox and opera et al in the EU. Any of them could have negotiated deals with OEM's or stores to ship their browser as the default. Basically this is an identical situation to the MS one and the government are acting in a similar fashion, it is not up to government to set the standard, it is there responsibility to police those that are abusing their position.

              having said that I think both this case and the anti trust cases against MS were and are
  • Fortunately, Super-Snowden is already in Russia and will save Google from those bad, evil NSA types that run the Russian kleptocracy!

    And don't forget Snowden's side-kick: Vladdy-doo, with the famous catch-phrase: PUTIN POWER!

  • Android Googles YOU!
  • Good ruling (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Android is only "technically" open source, in reality the platform is tightly controlled by Google and its allies.

    I think these quasi-monopolies should all be destroyed and every platform should be forced to be open and always let the user choose 3rd party application repositories out of the box.

    • Re:Good ruling (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Monday March 14, 2016 @03:36PM (#51695317) Journal

      I think these quasi-monopolies should all be destroyed and every platform should be forced to be open...

      But you know what they say: coordinating OSS is like herding cats. Sometimes dominant companies are needed to form and enforce quasi-standards. I believe there's a happy medium somewhere between an MS-style monopoly and 40 or so OS distros that require too much tinkering to work with existing software and tools.

      OSS versus "corporate" sometimes reminds me of "capitalism versus socialism". The best systems seem to be a compromise between the two. The extremes of either end are highly unpleasant (for most).

      Yes, I am raining on the idealism parade here, and going yin/yang/balance on you.

      • by mikael ( 484 )

        That's what many city councils discovered. If all services are run by the council, the government procurement suppliers take over. If all services are run privately, they create a monopoly and the corporations charge what they like. Keep 50% of work in-house and out-source the other 50%, and you get to know what the real costs are, while still having some competition.

    • by vakuona ( 788200 )

      I could say the same about many other pieces of OSS software.

      Linux is only technically open source. In reality what goes into the kernel is tightly controlled by Torvalds.

      GCC is only technically open source. In reality what goes into GCC is tightly controlled by the GCC steering committee.

      Open source doesn't mean that everyone gets to control every piece of software. It means anyone can take that software, makes improvements to it, and release new versions without needing approval from the original authors.

  • and while you are at it stop the fucking carriers and handset makers from changing the damn OS so badly. HTC sense should be an option I have to download, not something shoved down my throat. and the baked in Apps that can not be deleted.... yeah stop that bullshit.

    • I wouldn't mind bundled apps so much if they could be uninstalled. My phone came with NFL Mobile because Verizon was likely paid money to put that on all of their phones. I don't like football, though, so I disabled it. It's still taking up 750KB, though. Why not let me just delete it if I don't like it/need it at all? I know I could root the phone and then delete it, but you shouldn't need root access to do this.

  • Who makes smartphones in Russia to be affected?

    • Who makes smartphones in Russia to be affected?

      There are some local makes, like YotaPhone, but virtually all popular smartphones are represented. The iPhone is a cultural icon in Russia. On the Android side, Samsungs are ubiquitous. My guess is that this applies to foreign phones imported for the Russian market as well as Russian manufactured devices.

  • by short ( 66530 )
    Android Open Source Project does not bundle anything, particularly not any app store. TFA does not mention this, what is the court decision based on?
  • So why aren't they going after apple, which is far more closed and restrictive than android? With android you can just get the source and build your own ecosystem on top of it if you want. With iOS, it's their way or the highway. Apple's iphone IS a monopoly, far more than Android ever could be.

    For those arguing that Android isn't open, or requires google's strict approval, please explain the hundreds of custom android builds out there - almost none of which sought permission from google.

  • I don't understand the gripe here... don't most phones come with a bunch of software? And what's stopping users from just picking a different browser from Play? If Yandex is so upset over the unfair competition, why don't they build their own phones and OS?
  • There are a bunch of apple apps and services supplied bundled with their phones

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