European Union has forced Google to change default search engines on Android as option. Following investigations into Google’s alleged monopoly on Android, the European Union pressured the company to allow, among other things, the use of different search engines. This led us to a bidding system for being the default search engine on Android smartphones. However, it did not work as well as expected. Now Google says it gets rid of the bidding system and will show its competitors for free. Google also pays Apple for its default search engine on iphone.
The idea behind this is that the user has more options. When setting up an Android device in the European Union, users can choose a default search engine other than Google Search. Usually three providers are presented together with Google Search, however these three providers have to pay significant sums to Google to appear there.
Some competitors complained on more than one occasion about this method from Google. They indicated that they doubted the approach and its viability, as it once again gave visibility and power to the biggest (those who could pay more). After hearing these complaints, the EU has put more pressure on Google to change the method again.
Twelve alternatives for the Android search engine
As Google mentions in its official blog, new changes will take effect from September. The company will stop bidding for positions in the configuration screen and will show competitors directly without them having to pay. A total of 12 search engines will be displayed to choose the default.
“After further comment from the Commission, we are now making some final changes to the choice screen, including free participation for eligible search providers,” said Oliver Bethell, Google’s head of competition for Europe, Middle East and Africa. When choosing one of the alternatives to Google Search, it will be the search engine used on the device and in apps like Chrome. The search engine app will also automatically download.
The condition that Google puts is that the search engines are general and not specific to specific topics. Also, ask that they have a free app in the Play Store. Finally, it is advised that they will prohibit search engines from syndicating Google results and ads directly. We will see these changes starting next September 1 in the European Union and the United Kingdom.