Android Manufacturers in Europe Will Have to Start Paying for Google Apps

By Nitish Singh / October 17, 2018

After being fined €4.3 billion by the EU, Google seeks to start complying with the region’s antitrust ruling that is in place. For years, Android manufacturers have not been required to pay any licensing fees for using pre-installed apps from the tech giant like Chrome and Search.

However, with Google being fined the hefty fee (the fine is still under appeal), the tech giant seeks to avoid controversy. According to the European Union, Android has many negative aspects to it, and with over 85% of the global smartphone market being commanded by the platform, the EU feels that its licensing practices need to change. By offering free apps and a publicly available API to manufacturers, it makes it very easy for manufacturers to opt for the platform.

To receive licensing for the Google Play Store, manufacturers are required to pre-install certain apps. The Google search app is what is most concerning for the European Union as it is helping the tech giant cement its spot as the number one search engine provider.

Senior vice president of platform and ecosystems at Google Hiroshi Lockheimer revealed “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. Android will remain free and open source.”

According to Google the pre-installation of certain apps help fund the development of Android and keeps the OS free for manufacturers. Despite the new paid licensing agreement for apps, Android itself will continue being free. The tech giant’s competitors in the browser market seek to benefit from the change and will be trying to push their products to device manufacturers in an open market.

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