Published: Wed, October 17, 2018
IT | By Darin Griffith

Google will now charge for its Android app suite in Europe

Google will now charge for its Android app suite in Europe

On top of the new app fees, Lockheimer said that phone vendors are also free to distribute unofficial forks of the Android OS and that they can also skip installing the Search and Chrome apps, which until now have been deal-breakers.

It is ending a ban on manufacturers having a line-up that includes tablets and phones powered by alternative versions of the operating system to its own as well as ones that feature Google's own apps and Play Store.

While Google has appealed the EU's ruling, it might take years to reach a decision.

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

Manufacturers taking on Google Play and other Google services such as Gmail, YouTube and maps, can also install the Google Search app and the Chrome browser free of charge.

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This resulted in the European Union issueing a €4.3 billion fine to Google and demanded it ended these practices within 90 days.

The most important change Google announced today will be new fees OEMs will have to pay to pre-install Google services on Android devices.

But if Google had failed to ensure compliance with the Commission decision, it would be liable to fines of up to 5 percent of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google's parent company.

It said the new licensing arrangements would come into effect on 29 October and apply to devices shipped to the European Economic Area (EEA) - which includes Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein in addition to the EU.

The Commission's ruling described Google's licensing terms for its search and browser apps with the Android operating system as "two instances of illegal tying", beginning from 2011 and 2012 respectively. Device-makers are yet to comment on the changes, though the fear will undoubtedly be that licensing fees - the costs of which have not been disclosed at this stage - will be passed through to buyers themselves. The new rules will unfortunately be new fees for building Google-ified Android devices.

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May 2014 - Joaquin Almunia, European Competition Commissioner at that time, says feedback from complainants will be crucial to determining whether he accepts Google's concessions.

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.

The second course of action will see Google offer licensing agreements to Android manufacturers for its apps, search app and Chrome browser.

The Android operating itself will remain free and open source.

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