Google responds to EU fine by charging OEMs for Android apps

Google responds to EU fine by charging OEMs for Android apps

Following a $5 billion fine by the European Commission for antitrust violations, Google is set the charge OEMs for pre-installed Android apps like Search, Chrome and Gmail in a move that marks a huge shift for the Mountain View company’s business model.

Previously, Google has given away its Android OS for free in an attempt to make the operating system as wide-spread as possible and on as many devices as possible. Google packaged a total of 11 apps that manufacturers were required to pre-install on smartphones as a condition of licensing the Google Play Store - a practice that the EU ruled was anti-competitive and unfairly weakened rival app developers.

The end of forced pre-installs of Android apps

Now, Google will charge a licensing fee to companies making Android devices that want to sell handsets with apps such as YouTube, Maps, etc. pre-installed in Europe. It is also splitting up the licenses for Android, Search and Chrome, meaning that OEMs will be able to sell Android phones in the EU without Google Search. Google will also end restrictions on manufacturers selling forked versions of Android.

android google apps play store ap 01
There are so many Google apps in the Play Store and some of them are already pre-installed on many smartphones. / © Screenshot: AndroidPIT

The news was announced via an official blog post, in which Hiroshi Lockheimer, Senior Vice President of Platforms & Ecosystems, explained that the new business model was designed to comply will the EU’s ruling that the company was abusing its market dominance. The €4.3 billion ($5 billion) fine issued by EU regulators in July was record-breaking.

Lockheimer wrote: “We believe that Android has created more choice, not less. That’s why last week we filed our appeal of the Commission’s decision at the General Court of the European Union.

“At the same time, we’ve been working on how to comply with the decision. We have now informed the European Commission of the changes we will make while the appeal is pending.”

This new licensing model comes into effect on October 29th, 2018.

What do you think of the major shift in Google’s business model for Android? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Google


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  • Albin Foro Oct 20, 2018 Link to comment

    It would be interesting to compare the licensing and financial conditions for Android-based OEMs in the EU with those for placing various Google apps on Apple's devices. Apple has found out how far it can (or can't) get without Google's Search, Chrome, Youtube, Maps, etc. and one expects the same from Android platform hardware makers. I'm not aware that Apple users have to purchase any Google apps, apart from the usual paid Google subscription services that also apply to Android globally.

  •   25
    Deactivated Account Oct 18, 2018 Link to comment

    Hmm.... Google punished.

  • nathan chisholm Oct 18, 2018 Link to comment

    It's great to see Google being punished and hitting the hip pocket! Its the only way they will learn they are not a God as they seem to think they are!

    Deactivated Account

    • itprolonden Oct 19, 2018 Link to comment

      It's not Google that's paying the price. It's the people of the EU.That's basic economics.

  • storm Oct 17, 2018 Link to comment

    I think the EUs response was ignorant of how the system actually works.

  • Brian Carr Oct 17, 2018 Link to comment

    then the cost will surely be passed on to the device user...... more expense for us 💰

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