Google to Charge Licensing Fees For Using Of Google Apps in EU Countries
In a move that could possibly pave way for smartphones to become more expensive, the giant tech company, Google seem to be angry at the European Commission for hitting it hard with a huge fine for exploiting its Android dominance in the region. Google will now charge device makers a licensing fee if they want to use Google apps.
Google seem to have reworked its licensing policies by separating the use of the Android Open Source Project from the use of Google apps. This means that European device makers would now need to agree to use Google’s Search service and its Play Store as default on their devices.
Google was recently hit with a fine to the sum of £3.8 billion after the European Commission took umbrage with the fact that Google was offering its app and search services for free, yet generating huge revenue through such services. This came after some legal wrangling between the two as the European Commission thinks that Google is anti competitive in its operations.
It is unclear how much Google will charge European device makers in its new decision to attach a licensing fee to the use of its apps. Google has decided to separate the Android OS from Google apps and services. Device makers will still be able to use the Android Open Source Project but the Play Store and Google associated apps will cost a fee.
The fee is likely a way to offset some the money it will lose from not having its Play Store and search services as defaults on some devices. The license fee will allow access to Android apps such as YouTube, Google Maps and Gmail with the exception of the Google Chrome.
Hiroshi Lockheimer, senior vice president of platforms and ecosystems at Google said “We’ll also offer new commercial agreements to partners for the non-exclusive pre-installation and placement of Google Search and Chrome. As before, competing apps may be pre-installed alongside ours.
Before now, device makers using Android would need to be fully committed to Google’s apps and service ecosystem, and they were not allowed to create devices that would run on software other Google’s if they had previously agreed to use Android.
This new licensing approach by Google will now allow giant device makers to create their own flagships that will run on an OS that is separate to the base Android, there’s no a doubt as to if that will ever happen.
Maker device makers will pay for the licensing fee and stick with Google rather than trying something totally new, especially because Google’s suite of services is now something that people are used to, “given how well all of Google’s services integrate on more Android versions,” a report said.
The European Commission, like a hawk, will be watching to make Google will comply with the Commission’s antitrust rules.
According to a European Commission’s spokesperson “It is for Google to decide exactly how to comply with the Commission’s decision. The decision does not require Google to charge for any of its apps or for the Play Store,”
“In fact, the decision is designed 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.”
Google feels the competition was already there and for that reason, it will appeal the Commission’s fine. If it succeeds, there will be a reversal of such licensing fees which comes into effect later this month.
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