Google will challenge the decision on the complaint of Yandex and give 5 arguments in favor of its innocence: comments of the parties

    Company Google does not agree with the decision of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) on the complaint of "Yandex" on violation of antimonopoly legislation. This concerns Google’s dominant market for pre-installed Android app stores .

    Google consultant on competition Tero Luco skeptical reacted to the decision of the antitrust case against Google: «Russia 3 months of opening and closing the case. And I decided in just 15 minutes, ”while the FAS then calculated that Google spent at least 12 hours at the meetings.

    "We intend to challenge this decision in court and explain why he considers it to be unfounded," according to a statement Google.

    Lawyers of the company highlight 5 main arguments in favor of her innocence.

    1. Representatives of Google claim that manufacturers of mobile devices are not required to install the company's applications on the Android platform. For example, mobile devices of ZTE , Xiaomi , Gionee brands that run on Android do not preinstall applications from the Google package.

    They also recall that Yandex has concluded pre-installation agreements for its services with manufacturers who also did not install Google applications on their devices. Google cites data from the analytical company App Annie, according to which Yandex mobile applications from March to June 2015 were in second place in terms of the number of downloads (both in the AppStore store and on Google Play).

    2. Android is a free platform, in particular because it allows users to download applications both through the platform-bound store, and through third-party sites and stores. There is no such choice on other operating platforms, according to Google.

    3. Representatives of the company also claim that the preinstallation of applications from the package Google Mobile Services ( GMS) does not prohibit the installation of applications of other developers. For example, owners of Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphones receive both Google’s own applications and competitor’s applications. The GMS package includes the Play Store, Google Maps, Gmail, Drive, YouTube, Hangouts, and the Chrome browser.

    4. Installing the Google Play store provides access to 1 million Android applications. Therefore, the user only benefits from this.

    5. Immediately after the purchase, users receive a “fully functional device” with all the necessary applications.

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    FAS comment


    So far, we can judge their intentions by information in open sources, in particular in the official Google Russia blog. Mr. Tero Luko (senior lawyer of the company) wrote on what theses are they going to fight, what does not suit them in our decision. Perhaps in court they will be revealed more fully, but at first glance they are in no way connected with the essence of the alleged violations of Google.

    So far it feels like we're talking about completely different things. Our decision was aimed at eliminating the violation of the law on protection of competition in terms of promoting some services at the expense of others, that is, connecting the service more than popular as the Android operating system with services less popular, having a large number of competitors - these are Google applications ... We are ready to defend our decision ... We hope that there are some more essential theses on which our decision is going to appeal.

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    Comment by Yandex


    Yandex is confident in every point of its position. We are ready to appeal and we welcome the most open trial. Google's words diverge from deeds. The company declares freedom of choice, but actually introduces direct prohibitions in agreements with manufacturers. The openness of Android is a myth. Without Google Play, it is impossible to release popular Android devices, and you can get Google Play only by agreeing to the terms of Google. This is not freedom, but the illusion of choice.

    You can be a major player, you can bundle your services in one package. Separately, this may not violate the law. But when a major player promotes his other services through a dominant Google Play product, this is an abuse of his dominant position.

    Who will win


    The company has the right to appeal the decision of the Federal Antimonopoly Service, however, the availability of such an opportunity does not mean that it will be canceled or revised, Anastasia Astashkevich , head of the international legal practice of the Chaadaev, Kheifets & Partners Bar Association , explained to RBC.

    To cancel the FAS decision, Google will need to provide substantial evidence that the violation itself did not take place, but so far the company’s arguments, according to the published statement, have not undergone significant changes, which casts doubt on the possibility of canceling the FAS decision, the lawyer said.

    “Given that similar claims against Google are now being considered by antitrust authorities in Europe, we can say that the prospects for appeal are not the best,” she adds.

    Background


    On September 14, Vladimir Kudryavtsev, head of the FAS information technology department , said that the Federal Antimonopoly Service recognized Google as a violator of antitrust laws.

    FAS acknowledged that Google is forcing manufacturers of mobile devices to preinstall applications from the GMS package, to place icons of these applications on the first screen of a mobile device. The company also requires that you select the default Google search as a condition for installing the Google Play store. This store, in turn, is necessary for the operation of the Android operating system, also owned by Google.

    According to the legislation of the Russian Federation, the violator of the law “On Protection of Competition” is facing a so-called negotiable fine. “A decision has been made to recognize the actions of Google as a violation of part 1 of article 10“ On the protection of competition, ”said Kudryavtsev. According to this article, the offending company is obliged to pay a fine of 1-15% of the company's revenue in the market in which the violation was committed for the past year.

    However, the FAS has not yet determined the size of the fine. As explained to RBC in the press service of the department, the administrative case, during which they will have to determine the size of the punishment, has not yet been instituted. A source close to the FAS noted that the agency is waiting for the company to fulfill the order in order to determine the severity of the punishment. Earlier, the head of the FAS Igor Artemyev said that the fine can be set at a minimum level if Google fulfills the order and changes the terms of contracts with manufacturers of mobile devices.

    FAS Russia demanded that Google eliminate the violation of the Law on Protection of Competition by November 18. According to requirementregulator, the terms of cooperation with manufacturers of mobile devices should be changed - from the contract you need to remove the obligations of partners to install third-party applications.

    On November 9, Megamind wrote that the Federal Antimonopoly Service went towards Google and extended the period for a month during which the company must eliminate the violation of the law. The term is extended until December 18. Interfax news agency, citing a representative of the Federal Antimonopoly Service, said that the delay was granted "due to the technical difficulties of execution in such a short time."

    At the end of September, Bloomberg also reported that the US authorities launched an investigation into Google’s Android OS - the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice.

    The European Commission has been investigating the work of Google on Android since 2013 on the basis of a complaint from the Fair Search alliance , combining Microsoft , Nokia , Oracle , Expedia , TripAdvisor and others.

    On November 13, it became known that in April 2015, Yandex submitted its own application to the European Commission, becoming the prosecutor in the Google case. Since July 2014, the Russian company has collaborated with the European regulator as a witness.

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