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

    The Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia introduced a program document - The Concept of Preinstalling Applications on Smartphones in the Russian Federation.

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

    Two main points:

    • Mandatory preinstallation of Russian applications , similar in functionality to foreign applications.
    • Ability to delete 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 state of 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 .

    In the course of the consideration of the case, the FAS found out that the preinstallation of mobile applications is the most effective channel for “bringing” applications to the final consumer and it is used by developers of operating systems as a 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 world operating systems. “Thus, global companies have gained a competitive advantage for promoting their own applications and services,” the FAS concluded. The rules now adopted must eliminate this injustice.

    What programs will preinstall?

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

    • programs that provide Internet searches (browsers, stand-alone search applications, applications that provide general search functionality as functionality within other applications);
    • antivirus software;
    • software that implements user geolocation (maps, navigators);
    • software that implements the functions of electronic messaging between users of the information system.

    Thus, all Russian phones will have at least a browser, instant messenger, maps and an anti-virus of Russian production.

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

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

    The draft amendments to the legislation in the near future will be sent to the Ministry of Communications.

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