Google will start charging Android smartphone makers to use its apps

Google will charge phone makers to use Android apps in Europe

Thus, Android handhelds can still ship into Europe with Search and Chrome installed, if required, but someone ultimately will have to pay for the other apps.

The changes are in response to a almost $5 billion fine levied at Google by the European Commission. As part of this ruling, Google was told they needed to stop this behavior.

The news would allow Microsoft to bid against Google for the exclusive placement of their apps and services on Android handsets from other OEMs.

Mobile industry executives have generally thought that Europeans have little interest in devices without Google apps. The crux of the EC's decision earlier this year was its opinion that Google was taking advantage of its position as a dominant operating system to be unfriendly to companies making Android devices.

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

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Google will sell licenses to Europe-based consumer-electronic companies for a package that includes the Google Play app store, Gmail YouTube and Google Maps. The EU Competition Commissioner gave Google 90 days to act upon the ruling. "We'll be working closely with our Android partners in the coming weeks and months to transition to the new agreements", Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google senior vice president, said in a blog post.

This is all because the European Commission fined the internet advertising giant €4.34bn ($5bn) in mid-July for breaking EU anti-trust laws. These devices are so cheap partially because the Android operating system and the bundled applications are free.

Google said in a blog post that it had to start charging to make up for lost revenue as a result of the European Union enforcement measures. The commission typically lets companies tweak compliance efforts as feedback comes in from customers and rivals.

What this will ultimately mean is that we will likely see device makers picking and choosing the apps that will be bundled with their devices, with users forced to download the remaining apps separately.

"It is for Google to decide exactly how to comply with the Commission's decision". Usually, Google insists on bundling its Search, Chrome, Play and other apps all together with Android, though it doesn't charge for them because, well, they make more than enough cash on their own. Google is also going to sell a separate license for Android device makers that want to use Google Search and Chrome but pair those with services from Google competitors.

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