Paid Android and the End of Cheap Xiaomi: what will be after Google’s fine of $5 billion

Written by Hassan Abbas

Google again attacks antitrust structures. This time the company received the biggest penalty in its history.



July 18, all news media, including our beloved blog, swept the big news: Google is once again fined for allegedly dishonest game on the market of the Internet and mobile devices. This time everything is a little different, because $5 billion is a considerable figure, and to be precise, this is the biggest penalty in the history of the corporation. The European Commission found Google guilty of violating fair competition. What will be the consequences?

For what Google was fined

European Commission

European Commission

The reason for the proceedings is approximately the same as in the case of Yandex a few years ago. Then FAS (Federal Antimonopoly Commission) forced Google to give people the choice between different search engines in a pre-installed Chrome browser on Android. Thanks to this, users from Russia at the first launch of “chrome” see a window with a choice between Google, Yandex.

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This time, the European Commission suddenly (most likely, on the tip of a competitor, as in the case of Yandex) found that Google forced manufacturers to preinstall Chrome in their gadgets. This was one of the main conditions for obtaining a license for Google Play Services. In addition, the company Sundar Pichai (Sundar Pichai) was accused of “bribing” cellular operators and manufacturers in order to set Google’s search by default in smartphones. There is also a claim left from the time of the investigation with Yandex – an obstacle to the sale of devices with a modified version of Android without services and searching for “Google”.

Thus, the main complaint of the European Commission is the creation of conditions when the user does not have a choice on the Android platform.

Is there a choice? Is the Commission entitled?

Already on July 18, the head of Google Sundar Pichai published an open letter to the European Commission, in which he noted that “Android brought more variety than reduced it.

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Indeed, Android, although it is the dominant operating system on the market, its concept is more open to the user than the same iOS. On Android, you can use any search, you can remove the same Chrome immediately after buying a new gadget and install some Opera. Many manufacturers are developing their shells for Android, and Google recently tries to make sure that everyone, even the cheapest devices get updates, which is good for both manufacturers and customers.

Repeats the story with Microsoft, who became a figurant of a scandal over the Internet Explorer browser pre-installation in the Windows operating system. Apparently, this is a fee for large companies for the fact that they managed to make such a successful and dominant in their niche OS. Antimonopoly services definitely need to develop clear rules for such situations. The standard for operating systems. On the other hand, such mass products do not appear so often, but the European Commission, FAS and other bodies need someone to fine 🙂

How Google compensates $ 5 billion for itself

Obviously, the European Commission will instruct Google to remove Chrome, A system and its Search from the preinstallation kit for smartphones sold on the territory of the EU (and not only). Manufacturers will be free to choose between a set of Google services and some alternatives. Recall, now to access the Play Store, manufacturers have to install 11 additional applications from Google within the GMS package.

But something tells me that in the current environment, companies like Samsung, Nokia (HMD), Huawei will simply choose Google because most people are used to them.

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Some companies will probably try to make their browsers to benefit from the new rules. Will a simple user benefit from this? – Hardly. Roughly speaking, manufacturers will be free to install anything on their gadgets. Giants like Samsung will be even easier because they have a full set – and the browser, and a voice assistant.

Manufacturers will also get more freedom in developing highly customized versions of Android. It will be something like Chinese shells, but already with the store and Google Play services. The European Commission requires the cancellation of certification of shells by Google.

Any loss of money must be compensated, especially when it comes to a large commercial company. One way to do this is to borrow money for installing the Android version with Google’s proprietary services or to make the system payable for everyone.

xiaomi redmi 5

xiaomi redmi 5

Thus, the company Sundara Pichai can compensate for the certification of shells for Play-services and recover some share from a huge fine. As a result, all smartphones on Android, including our favorite Xiaomi, will rise in price. For a paid Android hinted even Sundar Pichai himself, noting in his blog that the free distribution of the OS has always been compensated by the preset of their services:

“We agree that with great success comes a great responsibility. A healthy and prosperous Android platform is a place where each side has its own interests, and we are always ready for change. However, the changes of the European Commission can disrupt the delicate balance of the Android system and shift the balance in favor of proprietary systems, “- Sundar Pichai, head of Google.

However, such an outcome is unlikely. Most likely, just Google will raise prices for content in the Play Store.

It’s not so bad

Do not worry, because Google still plans to appeal the decision of the European Commission. And if the changes are accepted, users will definitely benefit, because they will give us more choice. Some companies will be able to produce devices without Google services and only with the Play Store – the dream of a geek. And some will start to “saw” their forks Android. The operating system from Google will turn into a common platform where everyone can make their Android, with blackjack and browsers.

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About the author

Hassan Abbas

Tech enthusiast with too many items on his wish-list and not nearly enough money! Specializing in all things tech, with a slight Apple bent he has been writing for various blogs for the best part of (too many) years

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