In a first, Google has decided to open up the Android platform to its rivals in Russia. The move sets a historic precedent that could well see the company amend its rules across the globe. The deal follows a two year long legal battle between the search engine giant and Russia’s competition authorities.

So here is what the case is all about: Google is the progenitor of Android, the most popular operating system in the world. So what it does, is that is uses its dominant position in the market to ensure that all Android smartphones come pre-installed with a slew of application. For instance, they also use Google’s search engine by default. Considering that there are a lot of Android smartphones out there, it is reasonable to assume that they play an important role in maintaining Google’s lead over its rivals in various fields — particularly in search.

Following a complaint by Google’s Russian rival Yandex, Russian regulator FAS said that Google was indeed misusing its position to stifle competition.This led to a protracted battle between the two that has finally concluded with Google capitulating.

So here is how things will work in the new order. The Internet behemoth will no longer demand exclusive rights to install its applications on Android smartphones. The company will also not force the issue where the pre-installation of rival search engines and other applications on Android devices is concerned. A tool that will allow users to choose the default search engine for their device will also be developed as part of the FSA’s drive to ensure fair competition in the country.

Google also said that it had manged to reach a commercial accord with Yandex wherein, the latter will have the opportunity to promote its search service within the Chrome browser. This could have some huge future implications as well considering that Chrome is literally a bastion of the company’s search engine allowing you to perform a search from anywhere. You can choose other engines of course, but the default choice is Google. The fact that the company (which occupies the lion’s share of the search market) is opening up to local rivals is quite refreshing.

Meanwhile, Google will still have to pay a fine of $7.85 million. While that fine is small change for the internet behemoth, this could well set off a cascade of similar demands from regulators and rivals across the globe.

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