Google loses Android appeal in Russia

Android Image copyright Google
Image caption Russia's competition watchdog accused Google of abusing Android's dominance last September

Google has failed to overturn a Russian ruling that said it broke competition laws by tying together its Android services to ensure its apps were pre-installed on smartphones and tablets.

The original case followed a complaint by its Russian rival Yandex.

Google had denied forcing device-makers to install its YouTube, Maps and Photos software alongside Android.

It now faces having to reword its contracts with manufacturers and paying a fine based on its local earnings.

However, it can still lodge a further appeal against the Moscow arbitration court's ruling.

"We're not commenting as we have not yet received the judgement," said a spokeswoman for the US company.

Yandex had alleged that it had been disadvantaged by Google's requirement that manufactures pre-load several apps if they wanted to be able to offer access to the Google Play store and other key elements of the Android operating system.

"We are satisfied with the court's decision to uphold the FAS (Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia) judgement in the case against Google," the Moscow-based firm said in a statement.

EU investigation

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption EU commissioner Margrethe Vestager has ordered her own investigation into Android

Google is also facing a related probe by the EU's competition commissioner into the bundling of apps and services with Android.

The antitrust authority's chief, Margrethe Vestager, announced in April 2015 that she had received two complaints about the way Google had allegedly tied several of its services together.

Last week, the news agency Bloomberg reported that EU investigators appeared to be readying a statement of objections - a document that would confirm that they believed the firm was at fault, which must be filed before a formal ruling.

A spokesman for the European Commission told the BBC that he was unable to comment about what its next step would be or its timing.

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