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Google tried to challenge Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service’s decision and failed

Google challenged Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) decision and failed. Google Inc. and Google Ireland Limited asked the court to avow FAS’s decision as illegal. During court proceedings Google’s representatives upheld stated requirements and pointed out compliance Google’s business activity in Russia with Russian law about protection of competition. According to them, there was not corpus delicti because assessment of activity has been made under analysis of licencing agreements what is prohibited by part 4 of article 10 of the law about protection of competition. There was not established any indication of Google’s dominating position in Russian Federation. Agreements with manufacturers have been concluded on voluntary basis. There were not established any negative consequences of Google’s activity, caused restriction of competition.

After due consideration of all provided materials the court concluded that Google has dominating position in Russian market of pre-installed app stores and its activity led to infringement and restriction of competitors’ rights, being app developers in related markets, what resulted in refusal of manufacturers to use apps of other developers. Under article 10 of law about protection of competition any activity (inactivity) of any business subject, having dominating position, causing restriction, inhibition or elimination of competition or infringement of interests of other persons (business subjects) in a field of business or interests of indefinite circle of customers is prohibited.

Plaintiffs also stated that market scope has been defined incorrectly, because products are acquired and sold by foreign manufacturers, but the court rejected this argument. In materials provided to the court it was examined, percentagewise, realisation of goods in Russia by foreign manufacturers of mobile devices. Argument that app-store Google Play is not a good is refuted by agreements on its realisation and promotion. The court also declined arguments that the volume of market in question and the shares of business subjects therein have been computed incorrectly, because the documents, confirming this computation made by supervising authority, have been not specified. Only doubts don’t prove a groundlessness of materials provided to court. Google has provided the court with its own reports, analysing dominating position of Yandex, but the court has rejected these reports because conclusions in these reports have been made by specialists without consideration of FAS’s case.

Documents, provided to the court, including conversation of third parties with manufacturers in writing and agreements directly prohibiting manufacturers to acquire app supplied by competitors, confirmed consequences of Google’s anticompetitive activity. Manufacturers, who concluded agreements in question, are purchasers of goods and dependent parties in agreement, because they acquire a unique good (there is no its analogue in the world) and conditions of purchase are defined by a seller. Therefore arguments about absolute freedom of contract are declined. The court concluded that FAS’s decision is justified and Google must execute FAS’s order. Google can appeal.