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Google may have to change its Android app-bundling policies in Russia

Google may have to change its Android app-bundling policies in Russia

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A Russian court seconded a prior decision today when it determined that Google violated anti-trust laws by forcing Android phone manufacturers to include its apps on devices by default. The suit claimed that the company broke Russian law by requiring the country's manufacturers to bundle its apps on Android devices that came with the Play Store pre-installed. Essentially, if a phone manufacturer wants to include the official Play Store on its devices by default, Google stipulates that 10 other apps have to be included on the device, as well.

Naturally, Russian search engine competitor Yandex wasn’t thrilled with these requirements, prompting it to bring this suit to court. It won in October, and although Google attempted to appeal, this decision suggests the company will have to change the requirements put on its hardware partners, at least in Russia.

Ten of Google's other apps have to be pre-installed in addition to the Play Store

Google faces similar allegations in the EU. The European Commission launched an investigation nearly a year ago that's looking into Google's bundling practices and whether its control over Android systems allows its apps to dominate the market. For its part, the company said because its services are free, it can't be violating anti-trust laws. Still, the EU claims this isn't the case and that Google's practices give it the upperhand on competition.

Google couldn't comment on the court case in Russia, a spokesperson told The Verge, as it hadn't yet received the full court judgment.

Correction March 15th, 2:11 PM ET: This story was updated to clarify and reflect a more accurate count of the number of apps that must be bundled with the Play Store. We also removed mention of a settlement in the EU's Android investigation, as this hasn't happened yet, and Google is still waiting for action.