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Google to charge phone vendors for its Android apps in Europe

17 October, 2018, 16:53 | Author: Lloyd Doyle
  • Android Pie statue

As The Verge notes, it's just Google's apps and services, which have nearly become synonymous with the mobile OS, that will become fee-based in Europe. The new arrangement opens doors for Google's web search and browser rivals such as Microsoft Corp but essentially leaves the U.S. tech giant's lucrative mobile business intact, analysts said.

It is ending a ban on manufacturers having a line-up that includes tablets and phones powered by alternative versions of the operating system to its own as well as ones that feature Google's own apps and Play Store.

Google published a blog post today explaining some important upcoming changes to the business model of Android when it comes to the European Economic Area (EEA).

Details are still few about what the financial consequences of this move will be for Google, which is going to start selling a license for a package that includes Gmail, YouTube, Maps and the Google Play store.

April 20, 2016 - European Union sends a charge sheet to Google outlining the company's anti-competitive practices with regard to Android smartphone makers and apps makers.

"Since the pre-installation of Google Search and Chrome together with our other apps helped us fund the development and free distribution of Android, we will introduce a new paid licensing agreement for smartphones and tablets shipped into the EEA", wrote executive Hiroshi Lockheimer.


But if Google had failed to ensure compliance with the Commission decision, it would be liable to fines of up to 5 percent of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google's parent company.

The company will also let phone makers install rival versions of Android, the most widely used mobile operating system.

Google's new approach to licensing will now allow the likes of Samsung, Sony and LG to create flagships that run an OS separate to base Android, though we doubt many companies will do that. It's not clear how much these fees will be, but the new "licensing options" will go into effect on October 29.

"Android will remain free and open source", Lockheimer said.

We'll also offer new commercial agreements to partners for the non-exclusive pre-installation and placement of Google Search and Chrome. The company has not specified the amount of the licensing fees. Google is appealing the punishment, though it still has to make amends in the meantime. As well as the penalty, the commission gave Google 90 days to make amends, and those three months are now virtually up, hence these latest concessions.

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