Google altering business model of Android to comply with European regulations

Angelica Greene
October 17, 2018

This means the pre-installation and priority status of Android applications like Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps, the Google Play Store, etc., will no longer be required.

First, we're updating the compatibility agreements with mobile device makers that set out how Android is used to develop smartphones and tablets.

Google recently was hit with a $5 billion fine from the European Union, and to avoid more fines while the company challenges the European Union in court, it is now complying with new regulatory rules.

Included in these changes is the news that smartphone manufacturers shipping handsets to Europe will have to pay a license fee to use Google Play.

The result, critics said, has given Google huge staying power and a massive core audience whose personal data Google uses to maintain its dominant position in online advertising. According to EC, Google has imposed illegal restrictions on Android OEMs and mobile network operators to maintain its dominant position in search and other services.

One major change being made is that companies that make Google Play devices will now be able to also make non-Google Play Android, also known as forked or AOSP (Android Open Source Project), devices.

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Today, in a blog post, Hiroshi Lockheimer, Senior Vice President for Platforms & Ecosystems at Google, said the company is now taking steps to comply with the EU's decision and adjusting its policy by introducing app licensing fees.

"Android partners wishing to distribute Google apps may also build non-compatible, or forked, smartphones and tablets for the EEA", Lockheimer said.

Next are the changes to the way Google apps are licensed.

"We have confirmed to the European Commission how we will comply with its recent decision on Android", said Al Verney, a spokesperson for Google in Brussels.

The changes will apply on October 29 for all new smartphones and tablets sold in the EEA. The European Commision claims Google's practice of pre-installing apps like Search and Chrome on Android make it hard for the competition. The side-effect of free apps is it's hard for alternatives to compete.

Other reports by GizPress

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