You may or may not have heard of Yandex, I hadn’t until they started to come up in tech news recently. Yandex is a Russian Internet company which, in Russia, is Google’s biggest competition. Yandex holds about 60% of the market share in Russia, and offers a wide range of digital services – all in direct competition with Google. Google has Drive, Yandex has Disk. Google has Play Music, Yandex has Yandex Music. The list goes on, and the more you read, the more you realize how much of a direct competitor Yandex is to Google in Russia. So what? Google has a few other fish to fry, and while Yandex is undoubtedly on Google’s radar, gaining the Russian market share probably isn’t on top of their to-do list. However, Yandex doesn’t like how Google plays, and has hit Google with a lawsuit, claiming that because Google requires all Google service apps to be installed along side the Play Store application, they have an unfair advantage and should unbundle their services so that manufacturers can install only the Play Store.
Yandex’s side of the story reads like this: because Google requires device manufacturers to install all of the Google Play services concurrently with the Play Store, Google has an advantage in making their own services extremely prominent and accessible within the operating system. In other words, not allowing manufacturers to offer the Play Store pre-installed without the Google Services suite. Yandex argues that it would be much more fair if manufacturers could choose, at their discretion, which applications came pre-installed, for example, with the Yandex suite of applications and services instead of Google’s.
The BBC reports that Google hasn’t seen the official Yandex complaint. Google could respond in a couple of ways, the most likely of which is offering the fact that manufacturers have the freedom to install other software alongside the Google Suite; Samsung has been doing this since day one. Also, if manufacturers have a problem with Google’s contracts, they are free not to sign it, and install a different application store. The problem with this though, the issue that Yandex is rightly highlighting, is that the Play Store has such a large and secure library of Android applications, manufacturers would be fools not to install the Play store. Application selection is such a large part of mobile technology and, in truth it is to the benefit of the manufacturers to just roll with Google, installing the full suite of applications, making their devices as attractive a possible, thereby selling more units.
Only time will tell how this lawsuit plays out, but depending on how it does, we may end up seeing a shift in how Google deals with manufacturers. Do you think that Google’s advantage should be dealt with legally? Let us know in the comments or on social media.Source: BBC
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