A new deal between the UK government and Google has given the search giant the green light to launch its new branded app, the UK technology giant announced today.
The company will be allowed to sell the product to anyone in the country, subject to a strict set of terms and conditions.
The move comes on the heels of the UK Government’s decision last month to give Google an exclusive licence for its own branded apps, a move which has angered many consumers and businesses in the UK.
Google has not disclosed the details of the new agreement, but the company’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai, told the Financial Times that it would be “a huge boost for UK tech”.
“It will give us a much broader portfolio of products, and it will give our users much more flexibility, particularly with respect to the way they interact with our services,” Picha told the newspaper.
“This gives us more control over how we deliver our services, and more freedom to innovate.”
But it is the new deal that is most controversial.
In its application to the European Union (EU), Google has said that the new terms “must ensure the protection of personal data and the rights of individuals in the context of the functioning of the digital economy”.
“In the long run, the digital revolution is about empowering people to make decisions that affect their lives and livelihoods, and we are committed to ensuring that digital decisions are based on their best interests,” the company added.
But some are worried about the impact of this new arrangement on the UK economy.
In the wake of last year’s Brexit vote, many UK tech firms were forced to relocate their business overseas, and a number have since left the country.
Pichay has said Google would “be able to operate in the United Kingdom as we have done in Europe”, but it remains unclear how the UK will be able to continue to be a digital hub if it loses the ability to access Google’s products.
According to the latest report from the Office for National Statistics, UK business activity rose by 9% in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period last year.