Complying with the EC’s Android decision
In July, in our response to the European Commission’s competition decision against Android, we said that rapid innovation, wide choice and falling prices are classic hallmarks of robust competition, and that Android has enabled all of them. We believe that Android has created more choice, not less. That’s why last week we filed our appeal of the Commission’s decision at the General Court of the European Union.
At the same time, we’ve been working on how to comply with the decision. We have now informed the European Commission of the changes we will make while the appeal is pending.
First, we’re updating the compatibility agreements with mobile device makers that set out how Android is used to develop smartphones and tablets. Going forward, Android partners wishing to distribute Google apps may also build non-compatible, or forked, smartphones and tablets for the European Economic Area (EEA).
Second, device manufacturers will be able to license the Google mobile application suite separately from the Google Search App or the Chrome browser. 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. Android will remain free and open source.
Third, we will offer separate licenses to the Google Search app and to Chrome.
We’ll also offer new commercial agreements to partners for the non-exclusive pre-installation and placement of Google Search and Chrome. As before, competing apps may be pre-installed alongside ours.
These new licensing options will come into effect on October 29, 2018, for all new smartphones and tablets launched in the EEA. We’ll be working closely with our Android partners in the coming weeks and months to transition to the new agreements. And of course, we remain deeply committed to continued innovation for the Android ecosystem.