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Moscow Arbitration Court upholds $8,000 fine for Google Inc.

The court's decision can be appealed within 10 days

MOSCOW, December 20. /TASS/. The Moscow Arbitration Court upheld the legitimacy of the fine imposed by the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) on Google's structure - Google Inc. in the amount of 500,000 rubles ($8,131), TASS correspondent reported from the court.

"The court decided to dismiss the claims of Google Inc. of recognizing and cancelling the decision of FAS from November 21, 2016," the judge said, adding "The court's decision can be appealed within 10 days," she added.

Google tried to challenge the fine imposed for failure to perform antimonopoly authority regulations fully and on time. FAS also fined other Google’s structure - Google Ireland Limited for 500,000 rubles ($8,131). Russian IT company Yandex acts as a third party in the case.

FAS Deputy Head Anatoly Golomolzin told reporters earlier that FAS might introduce new fines for Google at the beginning of 2017 for failure to fulfill requirements.

"We will announce it when we consider the procedure. We will consider it at the beginning of next year," he said.

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.