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Google makes changes to Android licensing to comply with Europe

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Google has announced changes to how it licenses the Android operating system to comply with the European Commission’s decision that its current agreements violate competition law, notes Telecompaper. Device makers will be able to create their own versions of Android as well as license Google’s Play app store without having to also take Google search apps and the Chrome web browser. “The changes do not mean Google agrees with the EC’s decision. The company confirmed that it filed an appeal at the General Court of the European Union. However, until the case is heard, Google must still comply with the EC’s decision.” To do so, Google is updating its agreements with mobile device makers on the compatibility of their devices with Android and Android partners wishing to distribute Google apps may also build non-compatible, or “forked”, smartphones and tablets for the European Economic Area. “Furthermore, device manufacturers will be able to license the Google mobile application suite, including the Play store, separately from the Google Search App or the Chrome browser. This also means the introduction of a fee to use the Google apps. Google said the pre-installation of Google Search, Chrome and its other apps helped fund the development and free distribution of Android, so it will need a new income source for this. The paid licensing agreement will apply only on smartphones and tablets shipped into the EEA.” The Android OS will remain free and open source. Device makers can still have sign separate licensing deals to use Google Search and Chrome and have them pre-installed on their phones. However, Google will offer new commercial agreements to partners for this, without requiring exclusivity for its apps. The new licensing options will come into effect on 29 October for all new smartphones and tablets launched in the EEA. Read more

  • Monday, 22 October 2018

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