Google is accused of abusing a dominant position and fined $ 4.3 billion in Europe for using its Android operating system to advertise its search engine as well. than the Chrome browser. In addition to this fine, the European Commission has asked Google to put an end to practices that are considered illegal in the EU.
As a result, the company was forced to change its agreements with manufacturers and give the competing applications of Chrome and Google Search more opportunities. In 2019, Google implemented a feature that informs Android users about alternatives to Google Searh and Chrome that are available in the Play Store.
Starting this year, when a user launches a new Android smartphone in Europe, the operating system will also offer users the option of choosing their default search engine. In addition to the Google search engine, this screen that appears when you first start it offers three alternatives.
When Google launched this feature, it offered three options in addition to its search engine: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, and Qwuant. However, this list changes regularly. In order to select the search engines that are offered when it is first launched on Android, Google has set up an auction system to sell these places for a period of time.
“Google will use an auction with a sealed first price offer to select the other general search providers listed on the selection screen.”explained the Mountain View company. New auctions were started for the period from October 1 to December 31. During this period, Bing, info.com and PrivacyWall will be featured alongside the Google search engine in France.
Bing gains ground as DuckDuckGo pulls back
When Google launched this feature, Bing had only secured one spot in the UK. For the last quarter of 2020, Microsoft’s search engine will be offered as the standard search engine in 13 countries in the European Economic Area.
DuckDuckGo, which a few months ago was one of the alternatives to Google search in all countries, only won the new auctions in Bulgaria, Croatia, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Unfortunately, the company posted on Twitter that the “The EU antitrust complaint manipulated by Google has a 97% market share for mobile devices.”.
“Google designed the auction to exclude alternative search engines that put people and their privacy before profit. These are the alternatives that people want to use the most and that pose the greatest threat to Google’s data-intensive surveillance business model. “, also explains DuckDuckGo is positioning itself as a privacy-friendly alternative thanks to its zero tracking policy.
For DuckDuckGo, Google’s auction model is flawed as participants only focus on winning.