Google to charge device makers to use Chrome and Search in the EU

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Aside from appealing the European Union Competition Commission's decision against Android, Google has reacted to the decision in another, separate way, and smartphone manufacturers won't be all too pleased about it, either.

Announcing the changes in a blog post published this Tuesday, Google's senior VP for Platforms & Ecosystems, Hiroshi Lockheimer, said Google will start licensing Google Search and Chrome for the EU - separately.

In other words, smartphone manufacturers looking to have both Google Search and Chrome in their devices for the European market will have to pay extra.

Android will still remain free and open source, and the rest of Google's services, like the Play Store, Maps and similar, will remain bundled under a different paid license.

Google claims it was forced into a move like this by the EU's Commission, because bundling Chrome and search meant more revenue through ads. “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,” Lockheimer said.

The announcement doesn’t discuss prices, so it will take more time before we find out how much money device manufacturers will have to pay in order to get Google’s Search and Chrome bundled into their devices. The question is – will they do it in the first place, and if (and how much) will Google’s competition benefit from the move.

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