Google announces that it will begin charging Android manufacturers for its apps

Donna Miller
October 16, 2018

Google headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Google formally offered its solutions to avoid more European Union mega-fines Wednesday, after Brussels accused the USA tech giant of illegally abusing the dominance of its Android operating system for mobile devices. In light of this, the search giant has today announced a series of changes.

Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google's head of Android, said the company would begin to offer the licenses October 26, but he didn't say what the pricing would be.

In July the European Commission fined Google €4.34 billion for now following EU antitrust rules.

European Union antitrust enforcers in their July decision said Google's anti-competitive behavior, which dated to 2011, included forcing smartphone makers to pre-install Google Search and its Chrome browser together with its Google Play app store on their Android devices.

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As Google notes, since Google Search and Chrome pays for Google's development of Android, those who wish to licence their Apps without Search and Chrome will pay a license fee.

Another illegal tactic included paying manufacturers to pre-install only Google Search and preventing them from using rival Android systems.

In a blogpost detailing the solution, Google said it would change existing practice and allow smartphone and tablet makers - such as Samsung or Huawei - to create non-Android compliant phones in parallel to compliant ones.

Last week, Google appealed the EU's biggest ever anti-trust fine, saying that Android had "created more choice, not less". The idea was that by offering Android for free, the company could spread the use of its services, like search and web browsing. Alphabet, Google's parent company, makes nearly 90 percent of its $100 billion in annual sales from search and advertising. First debuted 10 years ago, the operating system now powers nearly nine out of every 10 smartphones shipped globally.

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