Report: Facebook preparing for Android life without Google

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) is working to enable its apps to continue to run on Android phones if a conflict with Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) were to erupt, according to a report in The Information.

The massive social network is reportedly preparing its own line of mobile services to replace core Android offerings in case Google pulls Facebook from the Play Store, according to the piece. While Facebook doesn't expect that to happen "anytime soon," The Information reports, the companies have reportedly had disputes over Facebook's efforts to automatically install apps for users.

While Android is an open source OS, Google has moved in recent years to bring some of its device partners to heel within its ecosystem. The Google Mobile Services agreement mandates that manufacturers must adhere to certain terms to gain access to key apps and services such as the Google Play Store and in-app payments. The agreement precludes phone makers from pushing their own mobile apps and services alongside the Google offerings that have helped make Android a success.

Some manufacturers such as China's Xiaomi have successfully built their own ecosystem within Android by forking the OS and replacing Google's offerings with their own. Amazon too built its current device operating system on top of Android. Samsung, on the other hand, opted to drop its efforts to co-opt Android several years ago when Google began to control its platform more tightly.

Building a comprehensive universe of mobile apps and services is a major challenge, but Facebook already has a huge audience and a strong mobile presence. If Google were to try to muscle the company out of Android -- or if Facebook decided to make the move on its own -- the social network may have a chance to grow its stature in the mobile market.

For more:
- see this The Information article (sub. req.)

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