Google offers solutions to avoid more EU Android fines

Google offers solutions to avoid more EU Android fines

In July the European Commission fined Google €4.34 billion for now following EU antitrust rules. Google Search and Chrome will now be licensed (for free) as a separate and optional package.

Realistically, this probably won't change much for most Android devices.

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.

"We'll be working closely with our Android partners in the coming weeks and months to transition to the new agreements", wrote Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google's senior vice president of platforms, in a blog post.

Google is also going to allow for different licensing of apps.

Google Search has been a key component of Android since the OS was first released, and Chrome has become increasingly important in recent years.

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Since the revenue from including Search and Chrome helped fund development for Android, the exclusion of those two apps means that Google will now be charging a licensing fee for the Google app suite (which includes the Play Store and other Google services that define most Android devices). By forcing Google's hand to un-bundle its money-making Search and Chrome, manufacturers shipping Android in the EEA that decide to forego those apps, as the EC claims they want to do, will pay for the privilege.

This new license agreement is planned to go into effect on October 29th, 2018 for all new smartphones and tablets launched in Europe. Regardless, the extra cost involved in creating these devices could ultimately push prices up slightly although, at this point in time, the new fee being charge remains unclear. The company has always stood by the argument that manufacturers are not required to include Google apps. But European regulators successfully argued that Google's practices gave it an unfair advantage against competitors.

Feb 5, 2014 - Google improves its concessions related to online search.

This will also hopefully appease Google competitors which complained the current business model stifled competition to such an extent other products couldn't even hope to compete.

April 3, 2013 - Google offers concessions related to online search and its AdSense advertising network to address European Union competition concerns, without admitting wrongdoing.

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