In return for a free (and Free) OS, and a free suite of half-way decent applications, Google is asking to be "paid" in the form of some prominent exposure on the phone. Did anyone think Google was providing all this stuff out of the goodness of their hearts? Of course they aren't... the whole reason Android exists is to get you using services that feed Google more information about you, which they then sell; it's kind of their entire business model.
If an OEM doesn't like this, they still get to use the OS itself for free; they just have to provide their own apps. Seems like a pretty decent trade-off to me.
If the OS wasn't Free, we might could have a discussion about evil monopolies and such, since there isn't really any other viable OEM-able OS. But since OEM's have the option of discarding the whole package, while keeping the OS, it's kind of a silly argument.