Some of you might remember that Google got a $5 billion slap on the wrist from the European Union regulators for breaking antitrust laws a few months ago and was asked to cease imposing Chrome to Android. It was a move from Google that the European Commission saw as an attempt from the company to “cement its dominant position in general internet search” and thus giving itself an unfair advantage over rival companies.
While Google’s first response was to immediately charge manufacturers licensing fees for the Play Store, Google apps, search engine and Chrome, SVP of global affairs Kent Walker has recently announced via a blog post that Google has listened carefully to the feedback the company got from both the European Commission and other involved parties and has decided to implement a number of changes in response to said feedback.
“On Android phones, you’ve always been able to install any search engine or browser you want, irrespective of what came pre-installed on the phone when you bought it. In fact, a typical Android phone user will usually install around 50 additional apps on their phone.” Walker says and goes on to disclose that Android phone owners will have a wide choice of browsers and search engines to choose from: “This will involve asking users of existing and new Android devices in Europe which browser and search apps they would like to use.”
What Walker does not detail is exactly when this change will be implemented – he only stated that it will happen ‘over the next few months’.