Google may charge device makers for its Android apps in Europe
San Francisco: In its bid to comply with the European Union's anti-trust watchdog's decision against Android, Google is updating the compatibility agreements with mobile device makers and may ask them to pay a fee for Google Play and its other Android apps used in Europe.
The European Commission ruled that forcing device manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Chrome was against its competition rules and fined the tech giant a whopping $5.1 billion in July.
Google said that Android has created more choice, not less. The tech ginat argued that pre-installation of Google Search and Chrome together with other apps helped it fund the development and free distribution of Android and appealed against the decision.
Google is now bringing the changes as its appeal against the European Commission's decision is pending.
With the new changes to Android that will come into effect on October 29, smartphone makers in Europe may have to pay for certain Google apps as the company "will introduce a new paid licensing agreement for smartphones and tablets shipped into the European Economic Area, Hiroshi Lockheimer, Senior Vice President, Platforms and Ecosystems said in a blog post.
Going forward, Android partners wishing to distribute Google apps may also build non-compatible, or forked, smartphones and tablets for the EEA, Lockheimer said.
While Android will remain free and open source, Google will offer separate licenses to the Google Search app and to Chrome.
"We'll also offer new commercial agreements to partners for the non-exclusive pre-installation and placement of Google Search and Chrome," Lockheimer added.