Google to charge for apps on Android phones in Europe

Android Pie statue

First, device makers had to include bundle of other official Google apps (Search, Chrome, Translate, Maps, etc.), and they had to agree not to ship unapproved forks (modifications) of the Android OS.

The changes are in response to a almost $5 billion fine levied at Google by the European Commission.

Google's Android operating system controls more than 80 per cent of the world's mobile market share. Now a mix of forked Android and Google Android will be allowed, but it sounds like it will only be allowed in the EEA. The EC's stipulation that companies were being hindered by their inability to ship devices with forked versions of Android is of dubious merit, and now there's a very real possibility that Google-sanctioned devices - a vast majority of Androids sold in the EEA - will cost more when they hit store shelves.

Google was slapped with a record-breaking $5 billion (£3.8bn / €4.3bn) fine from the European Union in July.

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.

The Android operating itself will remain free and open source.

More news: China's trade surplus with the USA hit record highs in September

Version 70 of the Chrome browser has begun to slither onto Windows 10, bringing with it Google's desktop take on Progressive Web App functionality.

Under the new European rules, detailed by Google's senior vice president of platforms Hiroshi Lockheimer, Android phone makers that want to sell devices with Google services pre-installed in Europe will need to pay a licensing fee to Google. It appears the main Google app bundle is still sticking around, but now OEMs will have the option to skip Chrome and Search, or license Chrome and Search separately. It also accuses the company of preventing third parties using its Adsense product from displaying search advertisements from Google's competitors - a third case against the company.

Google has in the past required phone manufacturers to include all the company's apps on Android devices, in order for them to include Play Store.

It has not stated how much the new fees will be or whether consumers should expect a significant rise to device prices as a effect.

This new license agreement is planned to go into effect on October 29th, 2018 for all new smartphones and tablets launched in Europe. One was the addition of data files called cookies that stuck around for Google sites even when you told Google to delete them.

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