Google share price: Company faces Russian antitrust probe over Yandex claims
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), the world’s largest software company, faces new antitrust accusations after Yandex, Russia’s largest search provider, yesterday filed a request with the Russian antimonopoly watchdog. The Moscow-based company, which has often been described as the “Google of Russia”, has filed a complaint over what it perceives as anti-competitive practices.
The complaint filed with the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service, specifically concerns Google’s bundling of its search engine platform and applications into its Android mobile operating system (OS), which is the largest mobile OS in Russia in terms of market share. According to Yandex, Google has been actively preventing local smartphone vendors from pre-loading competing services onto devices that run Android.
The Russian search company claims that Android’s open platform policy is merely an illusion, as phone manufacturers are obliged to implement the entire set of Google applications and set Google as the default search engine if they want to put the Google Play store on their devices. According to a statement from Yandex spokesman Ochir Mandzhikov, cited in the media:
“We believe that device manufacturers should have a choice as to which search provider to set as the default or which services to have preinstalled on the device. Google should not prevent manufacturers from preinstalling competitor apps”. Mandzhikov added that the Mountain View-based tech giant needs to unbundle its Android OS from Google Search and other end-user services.
Yesterday, Google’s share price closed 0.58 percent down at $539.70 on the NASDAQ. Despite the decline during the previous session, the company’s stock has edged 2.26 percent higher since the start of the year.
According to CNNMoney, the 40 analysts offering 12-month price forecasts for Google have a median target of $625.00, with a low estimate of $530 and a high estimate of $700.00. The current consensus among 47 polled investment analysts suggests that investors should buy shares in the company, the website notes.
As of 14:27 GMT, Thursday, 19 February, Google share price is $542.65.