Google's Android Apps Are No Longer Free for European Smartphone Makers

Google's Android Apps Are No Longer Free for European Smartphone Makers

Google's Android Apps Are No Longer Free for European Smartphone Makers

In July the European Commission fined Google €4.34 billion for now following EU antitrust rules. Fortunately, these companies won't need to license all of them. First, the company will allow manufacturers to build smartphones and tablets running a forked version of Android, while also selling normal devices with the Play Store.

The search giant on Tuesday said it will offer a paid license for phone and tablet manufacturers in Europe that want to include its Google Play app store, Maps, Gmail and Google-owned YouTube.

As Google notes, since Google Search and Chrome pays for Google's development of Android, those who wish to licence their Apps without Search and Chrome will pay a license fee.

The result, critics said, has given Google vast staying power and a massive core audience whose personal data Google uses to maintain its dominant position in online advertising.

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This will also hopefully appease Google competitors which complained the current business model stifled competition to such an extent other products couldn't even hope to compete.

Secondly, Google will offer commercial agreements to partners for the non-exclusive pre-installation and placement of Google Search and Chrome. But Google's also putting its foot down to show just how much value it gives away for free as of today, with a suite of extremely popular and well-made apps that would typically cost companies millions of dollars to develop for themselves.

Google has appealed the decision, arguing that the EU's accusations were unfounded, but on Wednesday said it would comply with the decision in order to avoid further fines. By forcing Google's hand to un-bundle its money-making Search and Chrome, manufacturers shipping Android in the EEA that decide to forego those apps, as the EC claims they want to do, will pay for the privilege. Regulators said 95 percent of Android users around the world were using their device's default search engine - Google Search - rather than choosing an alternative.

The coming weeks will reveal whether Google's appeal is accepted or the original decision is enacted, but Google plans on placing the above licensing changes into effect on October 29 regardless.

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