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Thursday 25 February 2021

Anti-Google Bill in Kazakhstan


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NUR-SULTAN / ex ASTANA (Satrapia) - Kazakhstan is preparing a draft law to counter the dominant positions of Internet players such as Google.

Following allegations by the Russian company Yandex, a famous search engine widely used in the Russian-speaking countries, the Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan for the Protection and Development of Competition is preparing a project of law On amendments and additions to certain legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the development of competition.

The agency says it expects an appeal from Yandex with a suit concerning the actions of a “foreign company”. According to Yandex, this “foreign company” is abusing its dominant position on the market by pre-installing its application store on mobile devices based on the Android operating system. Yandex believes this way preferential conditions are created for the owner of the application store, making it difficult or impossible for competitors — other developers of mobile applications and services for Android OS — to penetrate the market.

This "foreign company" is obviously Google.

According to the bill’s initiators, “the absence of an effective tool for economic analysis and monitoring of the activities of these companies carries the risk of limiting competition, monopolizing certain segments of the national market and weakening the economic sovereignty of the State.”

The project says:

On the basis of the above, given that technologies (mainly digital technologies), information, digital and information platforms and intellectual property play a decisive role in the foundation of the modern market economy, additional criteria should appear in legislation in the field of competition protection, allowing to classify as dominant the owners of large infrastructure and Internet platforms with significant market power. A new concept of “network effect” and a separate procedure for analysing markets for digital services and a mechanism for identifying and removing anti-competitive actions by their participants.

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