Google Adds Another Country to Those Asserting Anti-Trust - The UpStream

Google Adds Another Country to Those Asserting Anti-Trust

posted Saturday Sep 19, 2015 by Scott Ertz

Google Adds Another Country to Those Asserting Anti-Trust

In the technology world, it sucks to be on top. In the late 90s, when the Internet was just becoming popular with average consumers, Microsoft saw that the Internet was the part of computers people understood how to use, and decided to make Windows more Internet-y. Rather than writing new software for this task, they included Internet Explorer as part of the operating system. What would become the EU wasn't happy, and they sued Microsoft for the convenience.

Today, Google is at the top of the Internet pile, and some of their decisions have brought upon them the same response that Microsoft received in the 90s. Country after country has started investigations of filed antitrust suits against Google for a variety of reasons. From the US FTC to France, the European Union and beyond, everyone seems to want a piece of Google. Some of the topics have been ridiculous, but others have some merit.

Russia believes they have enough of merit at this point, having ruled that Google has violated antitrust laws in the country. Their point of contention with the company is that Google requires hardware manufacturers to include certain Google apps and branding in their phones and tablets if they want to access Google Play.

Interestingly, Russia did not get involved in the Microsoft situation in the 90s. This varies from Microsoft in one really important way - the Google apps are not essential to the operation of Android, but instead are supplementary, and are included as a matter of forced policy as opposed to necessity. On the other hand, Internet Explorer was included as a matter of inclusion in the operating system and computer manufactures were free to install additional browsers and set them as default.

Under law, Google could face fines of up to 15 percent of revenue generated within the Russian Federation as a result of the deceit. It is not certain what the exact details of the ruling will be, but it is likely that the clause requiring Google services will be removed for the market, and a steep financial penalty. The full draft of the ruling, and its result, will be available within 2 weeks.

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