O Google is adapting its practices in Europe after being fined 4.3 billion euros (about R $ 19 billion): competing search engines will be suggested as standard when first using devices Android, which may include options like Microsoft Bing, Yahoo and DuckDuckGo – but these companies will have to pay.
The European Union fined Google for taking advantage of Android’s dominance to force manufacturers to include its search service and Chrome on mobile phones. Without this, they had difficulty obtaining authorization to embed the Play Store on their devices.
For this reason, Google already suggests 5 browser options for users in Europe, depending on their popularity in each country; this includes alternatives like Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge and DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser. The company also charges up to $ 40 from manufacturers to pre-install Android apps like the Play Store.
In addition, Google will no longer place its own search engine as a default on Europe’s Androids. Instead, the user will find a “choose your search provider” screen when configuring the device for the first time. Four options will be displayed in random order, including Google and three competitors.
However, this will not be free: Google will hold an auction of sealed bids in each country in the European Union. Providers must inform the price they are willing to pay each time they are selected by a user. Companies that send the three highest values will appear on the Android options screen.
Google to auction among search engines in Europe
For example, suppose that Yahoo has proposed to pay € 0.10 for each user who chooses it when setting up Android in France. If the company is one of the winners of the auction in the country, it will have to pay € 0.10 to Google each time it is selected. You will be billed monthly.
When choosing Yahoo, Bing or any other Google competitor, three things happen:
- the search provider is set as the default on a widget on the home screen;
- it is set as default in Chrome (if the browser is installed);
- the official app for that provider on the Play Store is installed (if not already on the device).
The options screen appears only once during initial setup (or after resetting the device to factory defaults). It will only be displayed on devices that have pre-installed the Google search application: if the phone already has another provider set as the default, this will not be changed.
Search providers will be able to participate in the auction until September 13, and the results will be released until October 31 for each country. Users in Europe will see the screen of choice on new Android devices starting in early 2020.
With information: Google.