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Russia says Google must correct contracts with mobile manufacturers by Nov 18

A logo is pictured at Google’s European Engineering Center in Zurich April16, 2015.

Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann/Files

MOSCOW Russia’s anti-monopoly agency said on Monday that Google Inc (GOOGL.O) had until Nov. 18 to address charges that it was abusing its market position in the country.

The FAS anti-monopoly body said Google must correct its contracts with manufacturers after ruling in September that the software giant had broken the law by pre-installing certain applications on mobile devices.

The case, launched by local competitor Yandex (YNDX.O) (YNDX.MM), is being watched keenly in other countries where Google capitalises on the popularity of its Android mobile operating system.

Yandex is ahead of Google in Russia but has seen competition stiffen in mobile phones as consumers have adopted Android-based handsets that come pre-loaded with Google products that compete directly with Yandex applications.

“Our goal is to return fair play to the market,” Yandex said in a statement. “Our position is strong and we intend to defend it in case of appeal at any level. This view is shared by a number of companies outside of Russia.”

Google is currently being investigated by the European Commission for allegedly using its influence over Internet search results to favour its Google Shopping service over rivals.

If it fails to comply with the FAS ruling, Google could face penalties totalling up to 15 percent of its 2014 revenue in the mobile applications part of the Russian market.

TASS news agency cited a Google press officer as saying the company would make a decision after studying the FAS statement.

(Reporting by Jack Stubbs and Maria Kiselyova; Editing by David Evans)

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