Google is facing yet another antitrust investigation, this time in Russia by the Anti-Monopoly Service. It follows a lawsuit filed by Yandex, the search provider based in Russia, over Google’s pre-loaded applications on Android.
Yandex claims Google gains a significant advantage on mobile search and services use by forcing manufacturers in Russia to pre-install Google Search, Chrome and a host of other services.
This is similar to a case in Europe, where antitrust officials claim Google prioritises its own services on the search engine, forcing competitors to reside lower in the search results.
On Android, most mobile usage comes from Chrome browser or Google search, with Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer maintaining less than 5% of the browser market share. The only reason Safari has any market share is due to Apple pre-loading it on iPhones and iPads.
It is a similar situation in Russia, where Yandex’s own browser lacks any adoption. Mobile users tend to stick with the pre-installed browser most of the time, Google’s Chrome browser on iOS is the only non-default to see any real traction.
Even though the Anti-Monopoly Service might find issues with Google holding 80% mobile market share and over 90% mobile search market share, it is hard for the organisation to actually do anything, considering most customers are embedded into the Google ecosystem.
The Russian government isn’t exactly known for its love of Google, recently asking for all server information to be stored locally on Russian built servers. Google followed this news by removing its entire division from Russia, making it legally impossible for the government to ask for data.