Google's Android operating system controls more than 80 per cent of the world's mobile market share. Companies will be able to license Google's mobile apps separate from Google Search or Chrome in the European Union, and the firm will offer separate licenses for Search and Chrome.
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 super dominant Google Search App or the Chrome browser. In July, a court ordered it to change its practices.
Google is complying with the EC's complaints, but it's hard to see what the consumer benefit is.
In a blog post, Hiroshi Lockheimer, Senior Vice President, Platforms & Ecosystems for Google, has revealed how they will comply with the EU's directions. They'll also be allowed to make their own choices when it comes to pre-installing software.
Details are still few about what the financial consequences of this move will be for Google, which is going to start selling a license for a package that includes Gmail, YouTube, Maps and the Google Play store.
We've reached out to Google for more information on how the licence fees will be structured, but we did not receive an immediate reply. But this is how the regulators' moves were meant to work out.
The question is whether it's too late for competitors, in general.
The U.S. tech company's announcement Tuesday is a change from its previous business model, in which it let phone makers install its suite of popular mobile apps for free on phones running its Android operating system. Still, most of these services have struggled because of the Catch 22 situation in which they need more users generating content and algorithmic data. The one catch here is that Google is only opening this up to companies distributing to the EEA, meaning any devices would have a significantly limited market to sell in. Why pay a fee when you can just install Firefox and suggest some links? Everyone knew a mega-fine was coming, and since Google basically mints money thanks in part to its lucrative ad business there was no question it would be able to absorb any financial penalty.
The firm says that the new options will go into effect on October 29, but only for new smartphones and tablets launched in the European Economic Area.