While Chrome allows users to easily change the search engine, there is no way at the system-level to have easy access to another engine. Under the terms of the agreement, Google will still have to pay a total of 439 million roubles ($7.85 million) in fines.
Google will no longer demand exclusivity of its applications on Android-based devices in Russian Federation and will not restrict the pre-installation of rival search engines and other applications, Alexei Dotsenko, FAS deputy head, told reporters.
Some 55 million Russian Android users now will have a choice of search engines on their mobile devices, per the terms of the agreement.
Let us remind that as far back as in September 2015 the FAS Russia established that Google had violated Part 1 Article 10 of the Federal Law "On Protection of Competition" by abusing its market dominance. They are also working on a Chrome widget for future devices.
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While Google never outright required manufacturers to pre-load its apps, its previous rules made it so that companies producing Android-powered phones had to either install all of Google's core apps - Gmail, a browser with Google default search, and, most importantly, the Google Play app store - or none at all. "Competition breeds innovation", Yandex CEO and co-founder Arkady Volozh wrote in a blog post.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Google will no longer demand exclusivity of its apps on Android devices in Russian Federation. Google had been appealing the ruling prior to the settlement.
That means Google won't be able to pre-install apps on phones, control the default search engine or place its own apps on device home screens in the region. These developments will help Google to fulfill their obligation to "not to restrict pre-installation of any competing search engines and applications". This move will make room for apps like the the local Russian search engine Yandex NV. The agreement was signed for six years and nine months.
"The settlement will have a positive effect on the market as a whole", FAS head Igor Artemiev said.