Google maintains Android licensing is fair, as Yandex reveals complaint to EU

Google again defended its Android apps licensing programme, as Netherlands-headquartered search rival Yandex announced it has complained to the European Union (EU) about the U.S. company's practices.

A Google spokesman told Bloomberg that device makers are not required to use its applications when deploying the Android smartphone operating system, and that consumers have similar freedom of choice.

The company responded after Yandex revealed it complained to the EU in April that Google's Android licensing conditions abuse the company's dominant position in the smartphone operating system market. FairSearch, a lobby group backed by Microsoft, ad blocking company Disconnect and Portugal-based app store Aptoide made similar complaints at the same time, Bloomberg reported, citing a Yandex statement.

Yandex' revelation appears to have been spurred by its success in winning a similar fight with Google in Russia.

The country's Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) recently gave Google until mid-November to amend its contracts after it ruled that the U.S. search giant abused its dominant position by requiring device makers to pre-install its applications and services on Android smartphones.

At the time, CNET reported that Google faced fines of up to 15 per cent of the revenues it gained from pre-installed apps in 2014 if it did not comply with the FAS decision.

Responding to the FAS ruling in a statement emailed to FierceWireless:Europe, a company spokesperson denied that Google forces device makers or consumers to utilise its applications in Android smartphones.

Google has subsequently decided to appeal the FAS decision, a source told Bloomberg.

Yandex said it complained to the EU in the hope of creating a level playing field for mobile app installation that would enable it to expand into the region, Reuters reported.

The investigation by the European Commission centres on whether Google has hindered development of rival applications by requiring certain applications to be installed on Android devices in order to gain full access to Google's services.

In early November, Google said threats of an EC fine over a related investigation into its search results were inappropriate, noting that it had previously offered to settle complaints against it on the matter, Reuters reported.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article on Yandex
- view this related Reuters report
- read this CNET article on Russia
- view Reuters EC fine report

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