Google will release an auction system that forces other vendors to bid for the right to be included as an option for Android’s default search engine. Following the operation and enforcement of antitrust law in 2018, people in Europe were able to choose which major applications and services to use on Android by default, instead of having to use Google products first.
Users in the region see an Android selection screen while setting up a device or after resetting to factory settings. They can choose their default search engine from a number of options. The three providers that are represented alongside Google Search are identified through a sealed bidding process.
Some competing search engines have called for the pay-to-play method. The European Commission said that it intervened after the competitors signaled their concerns about the approach. The EC “discussing with Google means improving this selection screen to address these concerns.”
“Following further feedback from the Commission, we are now making some final changes to the selection screen, including free participation for eligible search providers,” said Oliver Bethel, Google’s head of competition for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “We will also increase the number of search providers displayed on the screen. These changes will take effect from September this year for Android devices. “
Redesigned selection screen for up to 12 search engine options. The one you choose is the default for home screen searches and Chrome if you use this as a browser. Your device will also install the search application for this provider.
Only general search engines are allowed and they must have a free search app in the Play Store. Vertical search engines (ie specialized or topic-specific) will be blocked. Providers that combine Google search results and ads will also not be included in the list. The changes will take effect for new Android devices sold in the UK and the European Economic Area until September 1.
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