Google Inc. says it plans to remove free software from its Chrome browser
Google Inc., the world’s largest technology company, is moving to remove many free programs from its browser, including its Web browser and the free software Vimeo, Google Inc.’s parent company said Thursday.
The announcement came after a report that the company was exploring the removal of a number of free programs, including Google’s popular video-streaming site YouTube.
Google, which owns YouTube, declined to comment on the report.
A Google spokeswoman said the company does not comment on internal matters, and that the search giant has made no change to its policy regarding the use of paid products.
Google Inc is among the largest technology companies in the world, with revenues of $2.5 trillion and a market capitalization of $46.5 billion.
Many of its users use its own online services.
The move follows a Reuters investigation last month that revealed Google was offering paid versions of many of its software products, including YouTube, its own photo-sharing service Google+, and a number-crunching Web browser called Chrome.
The Reuters investigation found that Google, the world leader in cloud computing, was paying companies to develop its search engine, search-engine-as-a-service (SaaS) product, YouTube and other products.
The company has been in discussions with industry leaders, including Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc., to address its concerns about its business practices, said an emailed statement.
The new policy announcement was first reported by The Wall St. Journal.
Google’s move comes after a Reuters report last month revealed that the tech company was offering its Web browsers and other free software programs to help it compete with its rival, Facebook.
Google says it is not making any changes to its policies regarding the sale of free software.
The software-maker, which has more than 1 billion users worldwide, has said it is exploring ways to limit the spread of malware on its sites and services.