Google to charge smartphone makers for Google Play in Europe

Google to charge smartphone makers for Google Play in Europe

The idea was that by offering Android for free, the company could spread the use of its services, like search and web browsing. The changes fall into two groups: how Google will handle Android licensing terms in the European Economic Area (EEA), and how it will handle licensing of its Google apps on top of Android. Google will now charge a licensing fee for Android device makers that want to deliver handsets pre-installed with apps like Gmail and YouTube within the EU.

This requirement is now not only gone, but OEMs will have to pay Google a premium to use the services, which will (hopefully) appease European regulators who accused Google of antitrust violations.

The European Commission found Google guilty of preventing Android manufacturers from selling devices with unapproved Android forks (like Meizu's Flyme OS and Amazon's Fire OS), paying manufacturers to pre-install Search exclusively, and requiring them to include Google Search and Chrome on their devices. Forked devices with the Play Store may be more interesting though.

We'll also offer new commercial agreements to partners for the non-exclusive pre-installation and placement of Google Search and Chrome.

More news: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian give Museveni sneakers

Google is to start charging smartphone makers to pre-install apps like Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps on Android handsets sold in Europe in response to a record $5 billion European Union antitrust fine. 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.

First, we're updating the compatibility agreements with mobile device makers that set out how Android is used to develop smartphones and tablets. Since they will stop bundling these apps with Android, the company will start charging a licensing fee to make up for it.

The model made Android a huge success. Now, presumably, they have more freedom to try to do so. "Second, device manufacturers will be able to license the Google mobile application suite separately from the Google Search App or the Chrome browser".

Writing in a blog post, Google's senior vice president of platforms and ecosystems, Hiroshi Lockheimer, reiterates that the company will be appealing against the EC's ruling, stressing its belief that "Android has created more choice, not less".

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