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Google wants to make it free to use certain apps on data plans

As part of Facebook’s Internet.org initiative, the company offers its service to users in developing countries for free, meaning they can access them using their mobile data but don’t have to pay for the data usage. Now Google is looking to do the same thing, not with its own apps, but for app developers for which Google would act as a middle man between them and carriers. 

Google wants to make Android apps free to use overseas, giving more people access to mobile data services in developing markets, according to a new report in The Information. This kind of zero rating, as it is known, is exactly what Facebook does in several countries as part of its Internet.org initiative. The difference is, the report states, Google wants to exempt Android developers’ services from data charges, not it’s own. Zero rating is a controversial topic since it could help create a two-sided internet where one company’s services are favored over another’s because they’re cheaper for a consumer to access. T-Mobile for instance zero-rates dozens of music streaming services, allowing its customers to jam to their hearts’ content without having it count against their data plans. It’s great if you’re one of the companies on the list of exempt apps, but not so great if you’re a new company trying to get noticed.

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