In July 2018, the European Commission ruled that Google had exhibited “anticompetitive behavior” in its dealings with Android partners. The Commission said that Google should not have required Android phone and tablet makers to install Chrome and search in order to install the rest of Google’s apps. And the Commission also said that Google should not have barred its partners from building devices based on forked versions of Android.
Google is appealing the ruling. But for the time being, the company has to make changes to how it licenses its suite of Android apps and services in Europe. That means charging a fee for its base suite of apps — Gmail, YouTube, and critically, the Play Store, among others — and allowing companies to add those apps without adding Chrome and search, opening up the potential for other browsers and search engines to step in.