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While Samsung phones use Google’s operating system, they’ve been trying to build their own ecosystem on said devices, including services such as Bixby and Galaxy App Store, their take on an AI assistant and application marketplace. However, it seems today Google wants to put a stop to all that by putting forward a deal to prioritize the Google Assistant and Play Store over any of Samsung’s own software.
While all seem well and good to the average consumer, Google is already under heavy scrutiny in terms of fair competition laws and is in cahoots with other tech giants to try and influence US lawmakers to fall on their side rather than put a stop to their ‘power abuse’. If this deal were to go through it would certainly weaken their position in relation to this and almost provide the lawmakers with exactly what they need to punish them.
This also isn’t the first time Google has tried to put a stop to Samsung implementing its own features, as there was a big coming together back in 2014 thanks to Google wanting Samsung to back down on some of the TouchWiz tweaks they applied. So, this new deal may not come as much of a surprise to them due to previous muscling in on Google’s behalf but if they’re still up in arms from this, Google could be in for a long fight.
Samsung has been trying hard to get their proprietary tech to become the norm on their smartphones, building in dedicated buttons specifically for Bixby, so it’ll be a surprise if they take the carrot Google is dangling in front of them. On the flip side though, Apple gladly took the deal for Google to become the default Safari search engine, so if that carrot is a billion dollars (according to Bloomberg it’s multi-billions on the table), we may see an end to Bixby and the Galaxy Play Store sooner than we think.