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Google to stop forcing apps on Android phone makers

Staff Writer |
Google announced on Tuesday it will drop restrictions imposed on mobile phone makers to include its apps on Android devices following a fine from the European Union in June.

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Manufacturers will now be able to power their devices with alternative versions of the operating system as well as ones that feature Google's own apps and Play Store.

Nevertheless, Google is still appealing against the EU's €4.3bn fine, that was announced in June, after the European Commission ruled that the tech giant had been using Android to illegally "cement its dominant position" in search.

The new licensing arrangements will come into effect on 29 October and apply to devices shipped to the European Economic Area (EEA).

Google also said that manufactures would now face a new fee to include the apps in their devices. According to a report in The New York Times, Google will sell licenses to Europe-based consumer-electronic companies for a package that includes the Google Play app store, Gmail YouTube and Google Maps.

"Since the pre-installation of Google Search and Chrome together with our other apps helped us fund the development and free distribution of Android, we will introduce a new paid licensing agreement for smartphones and tablets shipped into the EEA," wrote Google executive Hiroshi Lockheimer in a blogpost.

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