Google was charged with a $5 billion fine from the EU few months back and this led to its current decision to change its policy in Europe. Now in Europe, Android phone manufacturers will need to pay Google if they want the devices to come with Google Play Store and other pre-installed apps.
Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s senior Vice President of platforms stated that the new European rules dictate that Android phone manufacturers will have to pay licensing fees to Google for Play Store and apps like Youtube, Google Maps, Gmail and so forth, though Google Search and Google Chrome will remain free of charge.
Google will also allow “forked” versions of its free mobile operating system to be sold in Europe, which means smartphone brands may ship their phones with the Play Store even though it’s not running on Android OS. Google is basically providing choices for Android phone manufacturers to produce devices with the Play Store and other Google’s apps without Google Chrome and Google Search, or get Chrome and Search without the Play Store and Google apps, or get both like most of the current smartphones.
The new policy will be implemented starting 29 October as compliance to European Commission’s ruling. It is most likely that the final consumers will have to pay a higher price for their devices if they want to include Play Store and Google apps.