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Google changes Android app policy

Google has confirmed that smartphone manufacturers will soon no longer have free access to apps on Android.

The licensing fee charge comes hot on the heels of Google being handed a $.4.9 billion fine by the European Commission, which accused the tech giant of anti-trust violations.

Android phones and tablets have, until now, all been pre-installed with Google's search engine, as well as the Chrome browser.

But that scenario has recently been considered to be illegal by the European Commission.

So, from October 29, all new Android devices in Europe will be brought into line with the licensing charges.

In a blog post, Google's senior vice-president of platforms and ecosystems Hiroshi Lockheimer explained: "Since the pre-installation of Google Search and Chrome together with our other apps helped us fund the development and free distribution of Android, we will introduce a new paid licensing agreement for smartphones and tablets shipped into the EEA [European Economic Area].

"Android will remain free and open source."

Earlier this month, Google appealed its $4.9 billion fine for allegedly using the Android operating system to "cement its dominance" in the search-engine market.

The world-famous company was handed the fine back in July by the European Commission, which argued that Google had "denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete".

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