Be it Samsung, HTC, or any big device maker, all fall short against Google’s rigid policies. To use Google Play Store in addition to a basic Android package from Android Open Source Project (AOSP), OEMs have to abide by an agreement which forces Android-powered smartphones to come with pre-installed Google apps.
But EU regulators are not satisfied with the present policies and may fine Google in billions, according to a report from Washington Post.
Margrethe Vestager, the European Union Competitive chief, has argued that Google search and web browsing tools ensure Google’s dominance in maintaining its own app ecosystem. This gives the company upper hand over other third-party applications.
If it happens, this will be the second time Google will be slapped with a fine from EU. Back in 2016, Google was fined 2.7 billion dollars for manipulating search results, offering the top position to its own shopping comparison website.
If the regulation goes into action, Google would have to bring a few major changes to its Android platform. It is possible that users would be able to switch between the Google search engine and installed 3rd party searches. Also, Google might offer uninstallation features to pre-installed apps like Google Chrome and Gboard (Google Keyboard)
Furthermore, this would force Google to overhaul its strategy entirely since Google’s personalized experience is built around Google search results.
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“Nobody is forced to take Google’s apps, but if you want to have certain apps you have to have the whole suite,” said Jakob Kucharczyk, Google E.U representative.