Android – Google will no longer charge third-party search engines

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The web giant gives up its auction system to appear in the list of alternatives to Google Search on Android.

In Europe, users of an Android smartphone will be able to choose from twelve search engines by default.

AFP

The announcement comes just days after Google was fined 220 million euros (some 240 million francs) by the French Competition Authority for promoting its own advertising services. online. In a blog post, the Mountain View giant made a decision that will put all competing search engines on an equal footing in Europe: it will no longer charge them commissions to appear as an alternative to Google Search on the system. Android mobile.

As a reminder, sanctioned in 2018 by a fine of 4.34 billion euros by the European Union for abuse of a dominant position, Google had set up from 2019 a multichoice screen which offered users to choose from four engines. search, including theirs, to make it the default on their Android smartphones during the first configuration. But to appear on the list, third-party search engines had to submit to an auction system. Renewed every quarter, it has been particularly criticized by platforms that do not generate significant revenue from the display of advertisements.

“Following the Commission’s comments, we are making some final changes to the multichoice screen, including making participation free for eligible search service providers. We will also increase the number of service providers displayed on the screen, ”Google wrote. The group will offer twelve search engines to choose from, up from four so far.

Competitors not completely satisfied

Something to delight European users and satisfy the competition. “With that we have something that looks like a level playing field in the market. Search service providers now have the opportunity to compete more fairly in the Android market, based on the attractiveness of their product, rather than being excluded by monopolistic behavior, ”said Christian Kroll , boss of Ecosia.

“Google is now doing what it should have done three years ago; a free search preference menu on Android within the EU. However, this should be implemented on all platforms (e.g. also on Chrome desktop), accessible at all times (i.e. not just during a factory reset) and in all country ”, tempered on Twitter Gabriel Weinberg, boss of DuckDuckGo.