Following a $5 billion fine imposed by the European Commission on Google in 2018, Android users in the European Union will soon be able to select their default search engine from a list of four options, including Google, when setting up a new phone or tablet. In July 2018, the European Union announced an antitrust fine of 4.34 billion euros ($5.04 billion) against Google.
Since 2011, Google has imposed illegal restrictions on Android device makers and mobile operators, citing its dominance in the Internet search market, the European Union said. Last August, Google announced that it would allow European users to choose the default search engine from 2020 as part of compliance with the European Commission’s ruling against Andriod.
Google announced today that DuckDuckGo and Info.com will appear on the set pages of 31 markets in Europe, while Bing, the Microsoft search engine, will appear in only one market, the UK. In addition, search engines such as Seznam in the Czech Republic, Yandex in Russia and Qwant in France will also appear in some markets. Google said the options would take effect from March 1 to June 30, and that new auctions would take place quarterly.
Each market’s three search engines are determined by a “blind auction”, with each setting the lowest bid, and the final three top bidders will appear during the installation of Android phones in the country. Google believes that this is a fair and objective approach. But the auction has also prompted accusations from at least one European search engine that they are excluded from the default screen.
“We do not believe that this auction is consistent with the spirit of the European Commission’s July 2018 decision,” said Christian Kroll, CEO of Ecosia. Internet users have the right to choose the search engine they use, and Google’s auction is an affront to our free, open and united Internet rights. “
Kroll also said why Google could decide which options would appear on its settings page. In addition, Mr Kroll said Ecosia plans to raise wider concerns with EU lawmakers about Google’s monopoly.