American IT giant Google is changing the way it licenses its suite of Android apps in Europe. Namely, the company is going to charge a licensing fee for the Play Store and other Google apps for the first time, announced the Google CEO Sundar Pichai .
The changes come in response to a July ruling by the European Commission, which fined the company USD 5 billion in order to prevent it from making Chrome and search apps to Android completely dominant on the market and thus destroying the competition.
Companies will now find themselves paying for things — like the Play Store — that we generally consider to be core parts of Android, but are in reality Google services.
The base Android operating system will remain free and open-source, but if phone and tablet manufacturers want Google’s apps and the Play Store, they’ll have to pay a license fee in Europe. Thus, The Play Store and many of Google’s other apps, like Gmail and Google Maps, will be bundled together under a paid licensing agreement licencing fees.
Android Device makers from Europe have three options here: make a phone without the Play Store or any other Google apps; make a phone with the Play Store and all Google apps but Chrome; and make a phone with all those apps, like most Android phones that ship today.
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