INTERNET GIANT Google will no longer shove its search engine onto Android smartphone users in Russia, rival provider Yandex has excitedly announced.
Back in April, Google and Yandex settled a long-running antitrust battle relating to pre-installed services on Android. As part of the agreement reached between the two firms, Google pledged to offer Russians a choice of default search engine, rather than making its service the only option.
This has now come into effect, and users launching the latest version of Chrome for Android (sigh) will now be shown a prompt to choose to select their default search engine. The options are currently Yandex, Google and Mail.ru.
"In line with the agreement with Yandex and the settlement with FAS, we have instituted a new opportunity for search providers to promote their search services within the Chrome app on Android devices," Google confirmed on Monday.
Yandex, if you can believe it, is pretty chuffed about this. It said in a blog post: "As one of the largest internet companies in Europe, and the leading search and mobile applications provider in Russia, access to platforms is critically important to Yandex. We are excited that Russian consumers can now easily choose their preferred search engine on their Android devices.
"As consumers are ever more dependent on their mobile devices for finding information about the world around them, we are excited that Russian users now can now easily choose the search provider best suited to their needs."
Google also agreed, as part of its settlement with Yandex, to no longer demand exclusivity of its applications on Android-based devices in Russia, and to not restrict pre-installation of any competing search engines and applications (including on the default home screen).
The firm was also whacked with a fine of 440 million rubles (£6.2m) against Google, courtesy of Russia's Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS)
EU regulators are currently carrying out a probe into the way Google pre-installing its own services and apps in Android smartphones, following a complaint by lobby group FairSearch.
If speculation is to be believed, the European Commission (EC) could be lining up a record fine, potentially topping the £2.1bn fine levied against the firm's Shopping service back in May. µ
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