The Arbitration Court of the Moscow District will continue investigating the case against “Google”
The next hearing will be on 30 January 2017
On 1 December, the Arbitration Court of the Moscow Districtdecided to transfer the case of the Antimonopoly Service against “Google” to the Court on Intellectual Rights.
According to the Cassation Court, “Google” agreements should be classified as licensed or as agreements on goods delivery and distribution.
FAS appealed the Court ruling because the antimonopoly authority had issued the decision and determination upon the fact of the corporation violating Part 1 Article 10 of the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition”. FAS did not touch the issues of Google exclusive rights for its intellectual property. The subject of the case was promoting applications and services by Google using their market power and the dominant position with regard to Google Play application store.
In the FAS opinion, the Court on Intellectual Rights does not have competences to investigate complaints in this category of cases.
On 21 December 2016, the Arbitration Court of the Moscow Districtconsidered FAS cassation appeal and confirmed the rightness of the conclusions reached by the Antimonopoly Service.
Thus, the case will be continued by the Arbitration Court of the Moscow District and not by the Court on Intellectual Rights.
“We are pleased with the Court ruling. It confirmed our position that antimonopoly disputes are subject to consideration by Arbitration Courts following common rules”, said Deputy Head of FAS, Sergey Puzyrevskiy.
On 18 September 2015 FAS found that “Google Inc.” and “Google Ireland Ltd.” violated the antimonopoly law by abusing dominance (Part 1 Article 10 of the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition”).
Investigating the case, FAS established that “Google” offered “Google Play” application store to mobile devices vendors to be pre-installed on devices controlled by Android OS, designed to be put into circulation in the Russian Federation. The conditions for offering application stores included mandatory pre-installment of “Google” applications and its search system and their mandatory placement on the priority positions on the main device screen.
Such actions by “Google” led to prohibiting pre-installment of other applications from other vendors.
The company was issued a determination to stop abusing dominance and exercising actions aimed at supporting competition.
On 11 August 2016 FAS imposed an administrative fine upon “Google Inc.” 438,067,400 RUB.
The company disagreed with FAS decision and filed a lawsuit. The Court of First Instance and the Appeal Court fully supported the FAS conclusions.
FAS issued a determination to hold “Google Inc.” and “Google Ireland Limited” administratively liable for failure to execute the previous determination within the designated period. Each company was fined 500,000 RUB. On 20 December 2016 the Arbitration Court of the Moscow Districtinvestigated the case against “Google Inc.” and confirmed legitimacy of the fine.
The Antimonopoly Service filed a lawsuit against “Google” to force it to execute the determination. The preliminary hearing is scheduled on 25 January 2017.