Google has split the overall Google Apps package for smartphone manufacturers into two separate packages, separating out Google Search with the Chrome browser.The two packages are now sold separately.
Recall that on July 18, 2018, the European Commission ended a multi-year investigation against Google and demanded a record $5 billion (€4.3 billion) fine from it.
The EU accused Google of three violations.
- Google is undermining competition in the Android device market by incorporating its search engine and apps into the operating system.
- It restricts manufacturers from using alternative versions of Android by shutting down access to its services.
- The company paid major manufacturers and mobile networks to put Google Search in their products by default.
Alphabet was given 90 days "to challenge the decision or correct the situation." Here the 90 days have passed – and the U.S. corporation has announced its version of the remedy
On October 16, 2018, exactly 90 days after the European Union antitrust ruling, Google said it would begin charging smartphone manufacturers to install Gmail, Google Maps and other popular Android apps in the European Union.
Three months ago, European regulators said that Google was forcing phone makers to download their free apps along with the Android operating system and thereby disadvantaging competitors. The European Commission ruled that manufacturers should be given more freedom to choose which apps they want pre-installed on their phones.
Google has announced that it will henceforth sell a separate license for a suite of apps, including Google Play, Gmail, YouTube and maps. Another license will be available for companies that want to pre-install Google Search and the Chrome browser. This gives phone makers more freedom to use competing services, which is what the European Commission wanted.
For example, you can now use the Google Apps package with a third-party browser. Or vice versa – Google search and the Chrome browser, but without the Google Apps package.
The company has not said how much it will charge for licenses.
The European Commission gave Google the opportunity to come up with its own way to implement the solution, and here the company offered such an option.
Analysts have yet to consider what effect the decisions will have. But we can already assume that in Europe there will be a greater variety of smartphones with different variants of pre-installed applications for users. There will no longer be the same uniformity, where absolutely every Android device had Google search, Google Play store and so on. Users will probably benefit from this solution. At the very least, people will know that there are other app directories besides Google Play. Maybe some smartphones will be sold with Firefox or Opera pre-installed.
Android is the world’s most popular mobile operating system, installed on more than 80% of smartphones. Google says it runs on more than 24, 000 different types of devices. Using Android has allowed companies like Samsung to compete with Apple’s iPhone without having to build their own software.
By making Android available for free to any device manufacturer to use and modify, Google simultaneously promotes its Google Apps suite. It was rumored that every manufacturer used to have an agreement with Google in which they paid Google royalties for using Google Apps. Officially, it was free. Anyway, the problem was that Google obliged manufacturers to install the entire Google Apps suite without exceptions, that is, necessarily with the Google Play catalog, other programs, as well as the search engine and browser. Now the entire suite is split into two packages.
Prices for the packages have not been disclosed, but we can assume that Google has thought through the financial terms intelligently and will not be left short. Licenses for Google Play can be sold, and Google Search can be installed for free or paid extra to manufacturers, because search generates the main profit of the corporation. As a result, Google’s revenues may even increase after the European Commission’s decision.
Google will appeal the European Commission’s decision. The lawsuit will drag on for years, and if Google wins, it may return to the former single package.