Fresh from a morale-boosting victory in an antitrust case over Google in its home country, the Moscow, Russia-based search engine operator, Yandex NV, has revealed that it has appealed to the European Commission to investigate the American search giant over concerns that the bundling of the company’s search services along with the dominant Android operating system may be violating EU antitrust regulations. With Yandex already having won its anti-monopoly case against Google last September in Russia, the latest complaint filed by the Russian company relates to Google’s alleged unfair trade practices within the EU. Google however, will appeal the September ruling by Russian antitrust regulator FAS, according to Bloomberg Business.
The California-based technology giant has been riddled with one issue after another in recent times, with the European Union’s antitrust regulators, led by the European Competition Commissioner and former Danish Deputy PM, Ms. Margrethe Vestager, hot on Google’s trail for multiple alleged violations of EU’s stringent anti-monopoly regulations, as regards its search and shopping services and of course, its all-conquering Android operating system. Among some of the leading technology companies to have filed complaints against the Mountain View, California-based tech giant to the European Commission, are US-based ad blocking software maker Disconnect Me, Portuguese applications store Aptoide and lobby group FairSearch, whose members include such names as Microsoft, Oracle, Expedia and TripAdvisor among others.
As for Yandex, the company says, the very future of its business in the EU depends on the outcome of this investigation, and is hoping that the EU will take note of the fact that the nature of its complaint in the EU is very similar to its complaint in Russia. According to Reuters, Yandex issued a statement on Friday, saying, “We think that the Russian finding of abuse of dominance is instructive, and is a conclusion that can readily be adopted in other jurisdictions, including the EU. We hope the European Commission … offers their help in restoring fair competition and ensuring equal opportunity to pre-install mobile applications on Android-based devices not only for Google, but also for other developers”. A spokesman for Google, however, protested the company’s innocence, saying, “Device makers are free to use Android with or without Google applications and consumers have complete freedom to use rival applications”.