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Google has just made a big concession to its small European search rivals.

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London – Google Announced on Tuesday that it will stop billing for search engines to appear in Android’s default search engine list for European users only.

The so-called selection screen was introduced by Google in 2019 in response to a record $ 5 billion antitrust fine from the European Union for anti-competitive behavior in smartphone software.

Search engines need to participate in blind auctions in various EU countries, bidding for display on the selection screen that users see when setting up their devices.

Google is now abolishing auctions, demonstrating a significant concession to the smaller competitors of the US Internet giant.

After “further feedback” from the EU’s executive body, the European Commission, Google said it “has made final changes to the selection screen, including free participation by qualified search providers.”

“We plan to increase the number of search providers displayed on the screen,” said Oliver Bethell, who heads Google’s competitive team in Europe. Blog post“These changes will take effect on Android devices starting in September of this year.”

In 2018, the EU fined Google $ 5 billion for preferring its own search engine within Android. The company has appealed penalties and introduced a “selection screen” settings menu to address EU concerns.

However, smaller rivals such as DuckDuckGo, Qwant and Ecosia have complained that this “pay-to-play” auction system favors cash-rich competitors. MicrosoftThis is Bing.

According to Google, the selection screen displays a continuous scrollable list of up to 12 eligible search services in all European countries, with the five most popular at the top.

“We have been campaigning for fairness in the search engine market for several years,” Ecosia CEO Christian Kroll said in a statement Tuesday.

“Search providers have had the opportunity to compete more equitably in the Android market based on product appeal rather than being locked out by monopoly behavior,” Kroll added.

Google has just made a big concession to its small European search rivals.

Source link Google has just made a big concession to its small European search rivals.

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