Android users turning on new devices in 2020 will be greeted by the option to choose their default search engine provider, as demanded by the European Commission following a competition ruling this year.
The step comes after European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager stung Google with a €4.3 billion fine for breaching competition rules.
But Google looks set to make rivals pay for the privilege, announcing today that it will select which providers will be included in the screen by holding an auction in each country.
Android Search Plans
The company has stated that: “In each country auction, search providers will state the price that they are willing to pay each time a user selects them from the choice screen in the given country.
“Each country will have a minimum bid threshold. The three highest bidders that meet or exceed the bid threshold for a given country will appear in the choice screen for that country.“
The company added: “Google will send a monthly invoice to search providers and charge only when the provider is selected by the user. Your monthly invoice will indicate how many selections came via the choice screen per country and the total amount owed to Google.”
To be eligible the providers must run a general search function and provide results in the language of the country they are operating.
The process is now open and has a bit of a tight deadline as search providers have until September 13, to submit applications.
Paul Gennai product management director Google wrote in a blog on the changes: “As always, people can continue to customize and personalize their devices at any time after set up. This includes selecting which apps to download, changing how apps are arranged on the screen, and switching the default search provider in apps like Google Chrome.”
Google Android Changes
The European Commission last July said that the company had imposed illegal restrictions on mobile phone makers and network operators, making them install its apps and sign up to restrictions on open source variants of the Android operating system (OS).
It claimed that this has strangled the growth of alternative Android-based OSs like Amazon’s “Fire OS”.
At the time Google CEO Sundar Pichai hit back commenting that: “Android has created more choice for everyone, not less. A vibrant ecosystem, rapid innovation, and lower prices are classic hallmarks of robust competition.”
In the original statement the European Commission said that: “Since 2011, Google has imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to cement its dominant position in general internet search.”
The changes regarding the search provider choice on android device announced today is a sign of Google changing the way it operates in Europe in order to dodge future fines. No Android user outside of the EU will be given this provider choice.