Last July the European Commission fined Google €4.34bn for imposing conditions on mobile phone manufacturers who wished to install its apps in Europe. These included a requirement to install a full suite of Google apps and an agreement not to fragment the Android mobile operating system. The Commission made its finding despite Google’s argument that phone manufacturers are free to install competing apps and that its efforts to prevent forking of the Android operating system really supports Europe’s large share of the global smartphone app market.
Google has come up with its plan to unbundle the suite of apps it offers to Europe’s phone manufacturers and network providers. The company proposes to offer Google Search and its Chrome browser under a separate non-exclusive license agreement. It proposes offering its remaining mobile apps for free as a bundle under what it calls an EMADA, or European Mobile Application Distribution Agreement. Finally the company wishes to negotiate agreements with phone manufacturers and network providers to preinstall Google apps on smartphones in incentivized and non-exclusive arrangements that will allow them to strike deals with providers of competing services.