Antitrust regulators in Russia had found US Internet giant Google guilty of unfairly keeping other services off mobile devices in a probe demanded by local search engine provider Yandex.
The Mountain View, California company abused its position of dominance by illegally forcing hardware makers to preload its internet services on their handsets along with the company’s Android software.
The probe launched in February to examine if the search giant acted unfairly in bundling its own services -- like Google Maps, search and YouTube -- with its Android mobile operating system software, which powers more than 80 percent of the world's smartphones.
Google was found guilty of abusing its dominant market position and Russians highlighted the fact that it was not an unfair competition practices accusation.
According to the antimonopoly agency, Google was using its operating system to their own benefits, leaving other competitors out of the picture, as is the case of Yandex. Yandex is a Russian Internet company that operates the largest search engine in the country with a huge amount of the market share in Russia. The company has dominated the Russian market since its founding in 2000. But Google's Android mobile software has more than 60 percent market share in Russia, according to data firm Statista.
Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has 10 days to issue a full ruling. In the ruling, Russia can outline adjustments to Google's agreements with mobile-device manufacturers.
In Russia, Google could possibly face penalties totalling up to 15 per cent of revenue it drew in that portion of the market in 2014. The search giant might also have to change the way it does business with Android or face the possibility of more penalties.
The European Union is conducting a similar probe against the search giant after initially weighing a settlement that would have allowed competitors to buy space at the top of Google's search results. The probe accuses Google of unfairly prioritizing its own services, especially Google Shopping -- over its competitors.
Previously, Google rejected the EU's official charges, saying the commission was inaccurate. The European Commission has also begun a separate investigation similar to the Russian probe, which scrutinizes Google's bundling of services on Android.
The request to probe Google came as the US tech giant has made recent inroads in the Russian market thanks to its popular Android-powered smartphones.