Russia’s Yandex Strikes Deal to Export Browser on Android Phones

  • Device makers to add Yandex browser, launcher in 15 countries
  • Russian firm earlier won antitrust case against Google

Yandex NV, the search engine from Russia that won a domestic antitrust case against Google, has agreed with handset manufacturers including China’s ZTE Corp. and Brazil’s Multilaser Industrial SA to have its browser pre-installed on Android phones in 15 other countries.

The browser has a built-in content recommendation feed from Yandex based on artificial intelligence, the Russian company said in a statement Wednesday. In addition, a so-called launcher lets vendors tailor their phones to users’ needs, while Yandex gets a share of revenue from ads and content.

Russia’s antitrust watchdog last year ruled that Google violated laws by requiring mobile-device makers to install its services as a precondition to getting Google Play on gadgets powered by its Android operating system. Yandex said in July that the Alphabet Inc. division had loosened some of those requirements after the antitrust case.

Yandex isn’t offering its search in the new countries because its engine doesn’t work as well in foreign languages as in does in Russian. Vendors can select alternate search providers for the browser.

India’s Lava International Ltd is also covered by the new distribution deal, Yandex said.

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