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Google said Tuesday it would charge manufacturers for apps in a compromise move to avoid more EU mega-fines, after Brussels accused the US tech giant of illegally abusing the dominance of its Android operating system for mobile devices.
The European Commission in July hit Google with its biggest-ever fine, imposing a 4.34 billion euro ($5 billion) penalty, giving the firm 90 days to change its practices.
Brussels accused Google of using the Android system’s dominance of smartphones and tablets to promote the use of its own Google search engine and shut out rivals.
Google has appealed the decision, arguing that the EU’s accusations were unfounded, but on Tuesday said it would comply with the decision in order to avoid further fines.
‘We have confirmed to the European Commission how we will comply with its recent decision on Android,’ said Al Verney, a spokesperson for Google in Brussels.
In a blogpost detailing the move, Google said it would change existing practice and allow smartphone and tablet makers – such as Samsung or Huawei – to create non-Android compliant phones in parallel to compliant ones.
In addition, device manufacturers will now pay an unspecified license fee to have access to Google applications – such as Gmail or Youtube – that will come separately to the dominant Google Search App or the Chrome browser.
Those apps will now be unbundled from the Google’s suite of other applications, satisfying a key EU demand.
Google failed to specify the amount of the license fee or whether manufacturers would pass it along to customers saying only the fee was required in order to recoup losses from the decision.
In a statement, the EU said commission said it ‘will closely monitor Google’s compliance to ensure that the remedy is effective and respects the decision.’
Last week, Google appealed the EU’s biggest anti-trust fine, saying that Android had ‘created more choice, not less.’
But if Google had failed to ensure compliance with the Commission decision, it would be liable to fines of up to 5 percent of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.