Google is not saying that the fight against the EU anti-trust ruling is over but while their appeal is still ongoing, they will be making some changes already on how it does business with Android smartphone makers that ship products in the European Union. The downside of course is that Google will start to charge their partners to include Google Play access to comply with the ruling and while no fee has been set just yet, expect that these companies will pass on the additional charges to users.
If you’ve been living under a digital rock, Google was fined by the European Union three months ago and that fine was a hefty $5 billion. This was after various companies have accused the tech giant of forcing phone-makers to automatically install Chrome and Google Search if they wanted to have Play Store access. They’re still appealing it of course but in the meantime they will be implementing three major changes to comply with the ruling and while their appeal is still pending.
First, Android partners that want to distribute Google apps can build non-compatible or forked smartphones and tablets for the European Economic Area (EEA). This means they will also be updating the compatibility agreements with these mobile device makers. Thirdly (we’ll talk about the second in the next paragraph), they will be offering separate licenses for the Google Search app and the Chrome browser app as well.
Second, and most contentious probably, is that there will be a new paid licensing agreement for the smartphones and tablets that will be shipped in the EEA if they want access to the Google Play Store. Previously, Google says they are able to fund the development and free distribution of Android because of the pre-installation of Chrome and Search. But now that they are not allowed to do that, they will have to charge a licensing fee.
The new licensing options will take into effect by October 29, 2018 and they will also be new commercial agreements for partners for the non-exclusive pre-installation and placement of Chrome and Search. We’ll probably soon now how this will actually affect end-users since the companies will probably pass on these new licensing fees on to their consumers.