Google to charge smartphone makers for Google Play in Europe

Google to charge smartphone makers for Google Play in Europe

It said the requirement that some manufacturers preinstall Google applications as a condition for licensing the Google Play store, as well as the payments made to other, larger phone makers and operators for pre-installing the Google search app on devices were helping to cement the company's search leadership.

"Device manufacturers will be able to license the Google mobile application suite separately from the Google Search App or the Chrome browser", said Hiroshi Lockheimer, senior vice president of platform and ecosystems at Google.

One bundle will include the Play Store, Google Maps, Gmail, and YouTube. For example a company could make a regular Android phone with full Google certification, and also an Android tablet with its own version of the OS and no Google apps or services.

"In fact, the decision is created to allow, for the first time, competing search and browser providers to compete on the merits with Google for pre-installation on Android devices, leading to greater choice for consumers". However, that's about to change ever so slightly for European Android device makers. The company has not specified the amount of the licensing fees.

The last app is the most important, as it allows phone vendors to easily onboard new users.

The U.S. tech company's announcement Tuesday is a change from its previous business model, in which it let phone makers install its suite of popular mobile apps for free on phones running its Android operating system. Google is also going to sell a separate license for Android device makers that want to use Google Search and Chrome but pair those with services from Google competitors.

The Android operating itself will remain free and open source.

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The changes will apply on October 29 for all new smartphones and tablets sold in the EEA.

As a first step, Android OEMs will now be able to sell forked Android handsets in the European Union while still being able to sell vanilla Google Android handsets.

But Google continues to appeal against a related €4.3bn (£3.8bn) fine. Even a company as big as Microsoft has found it incredibly hard to compete with Google's search engine. It has always been clear why they don't charge for these services.

"It is for Google to decide exactly how to comply with the Commission's decision".

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

Nov 30, 2010 - European Commission opens investigation into allegations that Google has abused its dominant position in online searches following 18 complaints.

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