Google has new requirements for phone manufacturers who want to use Google services as part of its Android operating system on their phones. An exclusive report in The Information says its seen contract information that increases the focus on Google’s own products.
Under the new rules, OEM’s will be required to preinstall as many as twenty Google apps on their Android handsets, populate the phones homescreens with more of them, and increase the prominence of the Google search tool.
It appears to some industry watchers that Google is looking to standardize the user experience across the Android ecosystem among other things, so it can more closely compete with Apple’s locked down IOS.
But Marketing Land says “The degree of control that Google is now asserting over the big Android OEM’s…could soon become a major antitrust problem outside the US.” It’s already a concern inside the US as a suit filed in a district court in May alleges that Google is using requirements of the manufacturer agreement to monopolize mobile search and inflate prices for handsets and tablets.