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Android loses more ‘open’ cred as Google fights fragmentation

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 7:08PM EST

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According to a report filed by Bloomberg Businessweek, Google is beginning to shorten the proverbial leash that Android licensees are currently attached to. Citing “dozens” of industry executives working at “key companies in the Android ecosystem,” the publication writes that Google will need to approve the future Android-plans of its software partners in exchange for early access to upcoming builds of the mobile operating system. “There will be no more willy-nilly tweaks to the software,” reads the report. “No more partnerships formed outside of Google’s purview.”

The report goes on to note that over the past several months, Google has been asking Android distributors to sign a “non-fragmentation clause,” that gives the search giant the “final say” on how manufacturers can “tweak the code.” Bloomberg also casually mentions that Facebook is one of the parties upset about that particular measure, as it has “been working to fashion its own variant of Android for smartphones.”

The article also suggests that Google may have tried to delay the release of Verizon Wireless Android devices that ship with the Bing experience as the default. “There have been enough run-ins to trigger complaints with the Justice Department,” the report continues.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.