Russia’s search engine giant Yandex has filed an antitrust complaint against Google. The complaint, filed with the Russian antimonopoly regulator, will investigate Google for possible violations of the country’s antitrust laws.
It’s Google’s Android operating system that is under scrutiny. Google’s own search engine is bundled as the operating system’s default search on all of its Android devices. In Russia, 86% of all smartphones sold are Android. With Google bundling their search as the default on all devices, other search engines find it challenging to compete for mobile search.
A spokesperson for Yandex said that device manufacturers should be given a choice as to which search providers they pre-install. Yandex is pushing to have Google’s search unbundled from the Android operating system.
Yandex is Russia’s biggest search provider, accounting for 60% of the market share. But on Android mobile devices, that share drops down to 44%. The search engine has made great efforts to expand its reach, working with Microsoft and Apple. Like Google, Yandex has also developed several individual apps, maps, shopping search and local search.
In 2014, three smartphone vendors, Explay, Prestigo and Fly, were told that they were no longer able to pre-install Yandex services on Android devices. Yandex reiterates that it’s not just Google competitors that suffer, but smartphone manufacturers and end users as well.
Google accounts for 90% of the market share in Europe, and with its Android devices, the company has tightened its grip on mobile and online services. Yandex isn’t the first to file a complaint against Google. A series of investigations are being brought against Google in Europe for antitrust issues.
App store owners are also up in arms and have filed an antitrust case against Google’s Play Store. The European Parliament has also backed a call for Google to split its other operations from its search business.