Tech giant Google on Wednesday said that it was making changes to its platform in India, allowing original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to license individual Google apps for pre-installation on their devices.
Earlier, these apps came pre-installed in the Android smartphones/devices for free, but several apps could not be uninstalled too.
The development comes just a day before deadline of the Supreme Court upholding stringent antitrust directives last week, rejecting Google’s challenge against the Competition Commission of India (CCI) directives to shun such practices.
The CCI passed the orders on October 20 and 25 last year saying the company abused its market position. It also fined Google $161 million.
“The Competition Commission of India (CCI)’s recent directives for Android and Play require us to make significant changes for India and today we’ve informed the CCI of how we will be complying with their directives,” Google said in a blog post.
It said that Indian users will now have the option to choose their default search engine via a choice of screen and added that it was updating Android compatibility requirements to introduce changes for partners for building non-compatible or forked variants in India.
It also said that user choice billing will be available to all apps and games, starting next month in India.
“Implementation of these changes across the ecosystem will be a complex process and will require significant work at our end and, in many cases, significant efforts from partners, OEMs and developers,” it added.
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