Google has announced how it will change its relationships with Android phone manufacturers, in order to comply with the European Union’s big antitrust ruling against it. And, in line with its previous tactics, the changes it’s introducing will give Google a new revenue source—this time by charging manufacturers to sell Android devices in Europe.
The European Commission’s July decision may have hit the headlines for the $5 billion fine that it involved—a fine that Google (GOOGL, -1.41%) is now appealing—but even more meaningful were the measures that the Commission insisted Google must take, to stop abusing its control over the Android ecosystem.
These are fundamental changes. As Google explained in a Tuesday blog post, the company will now allow manufacturers of Android devices to sell (in the European Economic Area) devices using a non-Google flavor of the open-source operating system, even if they also sell phones and tablets with Google’s apps on them.