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FAS does not approve mandatory pre-installation of Russian online retailers’ apps on mobile devices

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According to the online publication vc.ru, the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation opposed the supplementing the list of mandatory applications for pre-installation on smartphones and other devices with programs of Russian Internet sites that are engaged in retail sales. The Ministry argues that the addition of applications to the list by online retailers does not solve the key problem of supporting Russian companies in competition with foreign competitors.

FAS does not approve mandatory pre-installation of Russian online retailers' apps on mobile devices

The Russian government is considering adding four more categories to the list of mandatory pre-installation programs. The project includes applications for reading e-books and listening to audiobooks, remote purchase of goods, video conferencing and access to Internet audio streaming services.

The FAS noted that pre-installation of programs is an effective way to promote them, as users are not actively deleting such services. However, according to the Service, Russian companies are in the lead in the markets of distance selling, streaming audio, as well as services for reading and listening to books. In this regard, the preset gives an anti-competitive advantage.

The FAS says that foreign companies are leading the videoconferencing market in Russia, which poses risks to the country’s competitiveness and national security. Anti-monopoly office considers that the list of programs for pre-installation should be added only by domestic services that are in unequal competitive conditions with foreign ones. Decisions on such inclusions should be justified, the service concludes.

Previously, the consumer advocacy organization Public Consumer Initiative criticized Ministry of Digital Security’s intention to add marketplace applications to the list of mandatory pre-installed software. E-commerce representatives suspected that the criteria formulated by the government are beneficial only for Wildberries.

FAS suggested that the statements by Roskomnadzor about the ban on advertising in runet by foreign Internet companies on an expedited basis. Experts questioned the effectiveness and feasibility of the potential initiative.

Last week, the antitrust agency imposed a ban on the merger of Avito and CIAN, dominated by the former. The FAS considered that the deal would lead to a restriction of competition in the market.

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