Google and Samsung are negotiating an agreement that would make the services of the US tech giant more popular on Samsung phones at the expense of the Korean manufacturer, according to Bloomberg. The deal reportedly involves promoting Google Assistant and the Play Store through Samsung’s own alternatives.
Samsung is the world’s largest smartphone company and, of course, the leading manufacturer of Android phones in the United States. While its phones use Google’s Android operating system, Samsung is constantly trying to create its own software ecosystem running Android, including the Bixby voice assistant and the Galaxy app store. Google̵7;s own products are still available on Samsung phones, but Samsung has gone so far as to include special buttons in its hardware, trying to make Bixby the most affordable option for customers.
Google and Samsung have previously clashed over Android settings for smartphone makers, and Samsung has reportedly agreed to reduce some TouchWiz settings in 2014. While it sounds like Google is still not happy with what has come out since then, Samsung will see for itself at this time. The potential terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but according to Bloomberg, Google has signed a multibillion-dollar deal with Apple, which is the default search provider in the Safari browser.
Another twist in this story is that the news comes when Google joins other technology giants in an attempt to convince US lawmakers that it is not abusing its power. The Play Store and Google’s mandatory service on Android mobile phones have gained more control over antitrust regulation, and the agreement with Samsung could undermine Google’s argument that the Android platform provides strong competition.
“Samsung remains committed to our own ecosystem and services,” said a spokesman for Samsung Bloomberg. “At the same time, Samsung is working closely with Google and other partners to offer the best mobile experience for our users.”
“Like all Android device manufacturers, Samsung can create its own app store and digital assistant,” said a Google spokesman. “This is one of the great features of the Android platform. And although we regularly talk to partners about ways to improve user experience, we do not plan to change that. “