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Google Will Charge Hardware Makers For Using Its OS And Apps: Reports

Google Will Charge Hardware Makers For Using Its OS And Apps: Reports
Alphabet Inc’s Google is setting a new arrangement for its licensing system after the European Union this year deemed one of its licensing mechanisms to be anti-competitive. Under the new system which has been reported in the media quoting sources, Google will up to $40 per device from those hardware firms who use its apps in their hardware.
The company has announced that the new charges to hardware manufacturers would come into effect from Oct. 29 and would be applicable for any new models of smartphones or tablets that are launched by such companies and those that are powered by the Google’s Android operating system. The new charges however would be applicable only for those launches that are made with the European Economic Area.
Media reports also quoted company sources saying that the charges can be as low as $2.50 and the final; price would be dependent on the size of the3 device and the country where it is launched. Media reports also said that the for the majority of hardware manufacturers, the fees would be about $20 and the charges would be uniform across manufacturers.
Under the new licensing policy, the charges would be applicable for a range of apps from Google including the Google Play app store, Gmail and Google Maps, and hardware manufacturers have the option of cancelling the charges by putting in some other Google apps such as Google’s search and Chrome internet browser as well as placing them in prominent positions on the device screens.  The new licensing agreement would also allow the hardware manufacturers to have a portion of the revenues that are generated from ads from the Google search engine and Chrome that are installed in the new devices.
The earlier licensing agreement that Google had was at the centre of severe criticisms by the European Commission in July when they accused Google of flouting anti-competition norms by using its dominant position in the market of mobile software. The Commission accused Google of forcing those manufacturers who use its Android operating system to pre-install Google search engine and Chrome on their devices. Google was fined a record $5-billion which has been contested by Google. The Commission has had also threatened Google with additional penalties if the US IT giant did not put an end to its alleged illegal practices.
According to experts, the new licensing system would allow some of the competitors of Google such as Microsoft Corp to enter the space and feel more open to enter into partnerships with hardware makers for making their software the default apps for search and browsing.
One of the smaller rivals of in the online search business – a French company called Qwant, which has been critical of the erstwhile licensing policy of Google, said in a statement that it was “satisfied that the European Commission’s action pushed Google to finally give manufacturers the possibility to offer such choices to consumers.”

Christopher J. Mitchell

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