Google has told its business partners in Turkey that it won't be able to issue them licenses to release new smartphones running Android. This means that all Android smartphones that launch in Turkey from now will release without Google Play Services and access to the Play Store. The move does not affect existing Android smartphones that are being sold or owned by customers in the region and they will continue to receive regular updates and support like before.
The company was forced to take this decision after the Turkey competition board ruled that the changes made by Google in its contract with its business partners were not sufficient.In a statement, Google noted:
“We’ve informed our business partners that we will not be able to work with them on new Android phones to be released for the Turkish market.”
In September 2018, the Turkish competition authority fined Google 93 million lira ($17.4 million) for violating the competition law in the region. It probed Google's Android licensing agreement following a complaint from the Russian search provider Yandex in 2017. Google was given six months to amend the contract with its business partners.
While Google made the changes, they have been deemed inadequate by the Turkish authority since it does not allow changing of the default search engine on Android smartphones sold in the country. The competition board has now imposed a fine on Google on 0.05% of its daily revenue until the demands are met.
Google is currently working with the Turkish regulator to resolve the issue. It has reportedly even asked its business partners in Turkey to put pressure on the trade minister and the competition authority to reverse their decision.