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Yandex disputes decision to give Google case to Intellectual Property Court

December 15, 2016, 18:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Yandex acts as a third party for the case against Google for allegedly abusing its dominant position in regard to Android operating system

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© AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. Yandex, following the Russia Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), filed a complaint in regard of transferring FAS case against Google to the Intellectual Property Court, Yandex press service told TASS.

"Having examined the transfer of the case to the Intellectual Property Court, the company has decided to appeal this decision," Yandex said. The company acts as a third party for the case against Google for allegedly abusing its dominant position in regard to Android operating system.

On December 14, an official with FAS told TASS that FAS believes that its case against Google should be settled in the Arbitration court, not the Intellectual Property Court.

"When the Moscow Arbitration court transferred the case to the Intellectual Property Court, it was done due to the need to classify agreements of Google either as license agreements or as agreements on supply and distribution of goods. However, FAS issued its decision and based on the base of the fact that Google made a violation foreseen by part 1 article 10 of the law on protection of competition (abuse of dominating position on the market). FAS did not consider issues of Google exclusive rights to its intellectual property. The subject of the case was the way Google promoted its applications and services, using its market power and dominant position," the official told TASS.

FAS believes that the intellectual property rights court does not have jurisdiction to consider complaints under this category of cases, and therefore FAS disputes the court's decision. Today, the court registered FAS’ appeal on this issue. The hearing is scheduled for December 21.

Earlier this month, the Moscow Arbitration Court decided to transfer Google’s appeal lodged against a judgement made by courts upholding the legality of the decision by Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), to the intellectual property rights court.

In September 2015, the Federal Antimonopoly Service ruled that Google Inc. and Google Ireland Ltd. had breached the competition protection law under the complaint of the Russian Internet company Yandex.

According to the regulator, Google obliged manufacturers of Android OS-based devices to pre-install its applications together with Android platform. FAS said that Google’s policy restricted installation of applications by other developers. Google did not agree with the ruling and appealed to the court.

On September 29, Google started to notify Russian users of the Android devices about the possibility of changing the search engine, deactivating pre-installed applications, installing third-party services (including third-party search engines and widgets, email, calendar, and other services) and changing position of application icons. Google noted it continues to work with FAS on technical execution of their orders.

Google lodged an appeal against the court judgement in favor of FAS regarding the case on abusing dominant position.

The company did not provide its comment, while FAS said it would announce its position regarding the appeal after it analyzes the court’s finding.

Yandex said that the decision by the Moscow Arbitration Court on turning over the case review to the intellectual property rights court does not concern the estimation of the facts of the case. "The essence remains the same: Google’s agreements with manufacturers of Android OS-based mobile devices contain conditions prioritizing Google services and limit the development of alternative services. Google itself does not deny those conditions," the company’s press service said. Yandex expects the court to publish the decision on the results of the hearing, and will continue standing its ground.

On November 1, the Moscow Arbitration Court adjourned the case of the FAS fine in the amount of 438.1 mln rubles ($6.6 mln) for Google’s abuse of the dominating position on the online application stores market in Russia until December 8.

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