Russia: Smartphones & computers await mandatory Russian software

predustan_rf-softaThis initiative was made by the FAS (Federal Antimonopoly Service), which by April 2019 plans to legally require mobile phone and computer manufacturers to preinstall domestic equivalents of foreign applications and software.
The new legislation obliging manufacturers of smartphones and computers to preinstall domestic analogues of foreign software should be prepared by April 2019, as revealed by the final version of the roadmap to develop competition for 2018-2020, created by the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of Russia.

Manufacturers will also have to provide users with the ability to completely remove preinstalled programs and applications, except for service ones. This will empower consumers to select their own software, according to the FAS. The main executor of the preparation of the federal law should be the Ministry of Finance, and the co-executors — FAS and Rospotrebnadzor.

The antimonopoly service specified that the document has already been sent to the government. The project was previously presented in early April. The agency noted that it receives “complaints from citizens about service applications on smartphones and tablets that are installed automatically and cannot be removed.” Among these apps are, according to FAS, the browser, mail app, audio player, and others.

According to the president of the association Russoft, Valentina Makarova, it is obvious that FAS is trying to help Russian developers through non-tariff regulation measures.
“It is clear that Google has a stable set of application vendors, the ranks of which are difficult to penetrate, regardless of the quality of the product, and the market is of little help, yet the state can help. But on a global scale, such measures do not lead to the development of competition,” she said.

At the same time, new requirements for equipment will lead to new costs for companies, an expert warns. Preinstalling paid products that duplicate functionalities is likely to increase the final cost of computers and smartphones, warns the CEO of Acer in Russia, Dmitry Kravchenko.

The web reacted to this initiative quite predictably:

“According to FAS, Russian software can be implemented only by force, and not because it is good and competitive.” (Turban Bazarov on Twitter)

“Yeah, the Amigo browser, Yandex bar, Satellite search engine, etc. After buying a phone you can safely reflash.” (Artem on Twitter)

“Trojans from the FSB. Let’s call things what they are.” (Meduza on Twitter)

The most notable case in this realm was the conflict between FAS and Google, in which the Service in October 2015 asked Google to stop violations of the law on competition in terms of abuse of the dominant position of the Android operating system. In particular, the corporation was required to exclude from agreements with vendors the conditions limiting the installation of applications and services from other developers. Google also had to inform device users about deactivating preinstalled applications, changing the search engine in the Chrome browser, the ability to install a different search widget, and applications similar to those included in the Google Mobile Services package. The case against Google was initiated at the request of Yandex.
Translated from https://roskomsvoboda.org/40674/