FAS has developed a concept for mandatory pre-installation of Russian applications on smartphones

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The Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia presented a program document - Concept of pre-installation of applications on smartphones in the Russian Federation.

The concept is based on the discussion of experts from the FAS Russia's Expert Council on Information Technologies, meetings with software developers and device manufacturers (more than 30 organizations in total). The rules for application preinstallation have been repeatedly refined and refined according to the comments of the members of the working group, reports FAS.

Two main points:

  • Mandatory pre-installation of Russian applications similar in functionality to foreign applications.
  • Ability to remove any pre-installed programs.

According to the FAS, such rules contribute to "the development of competition in the sectors of the economy of the Russian Federation and the transition of certain areas of natural monopolies from a state of natural monopoly to a competitive market."

It all started with the consideration of the case of violation of antitrust laws against Google on the complaint of "Yandex" in 2015 .

During the consideration of the case, the FAS found out that the pre-installation of mobile applications is the most effective channel for bringing applications to the end user and it is used by operating system developers in priority. As a result, it is very difficult for Russian developers who do not distribute their products around the world to enter the preset channel and compete with the owners of global operating systems. “Thus, global companies have gained a competitive advantage for promoting their own applications and services,” concluded FAS. The rules adopted now must eliminate this injustice.

What programs will be pre-installed?

The FAS working group identified four classes of software that must be preinstalled on smartphones:

  • programs that provide Internet search (browsers, independent search applications, applications that provide general search functionality as functionality within other applications);
  • anti-virus software;
  • software that implements user geolocation (maps, navigators);
  • software that implements the functions of exchanging electronic messages between users of the information system.

Thus, on all Russian phones there will appear at least a browser, instant messenger, maps and antivirus produced in Russia.

The choice of software vendors and pre-installation procedures remains with device manufacturers.

During the discussion, negative opinions were expressed by representatives of RATEK, as well as representatives of foreign software and hardware developers (Apple, Microsoft, Intel). Russian developers and telecom operators (Mail.ru, Kaspersky Lab, MTS, Megafon, Russoft) supported the Concept.

The draft amendments to the legislation will soon be sent to the Ministry of Communications.

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