In the European Union, Android phone and tablet consumers will have the opportunity to install one of Google’s competitors as the default search supplier. But search companies will have to compete over what to pay for Google if customers pick them to be offered as an alternative.
The decision to choose when setting up phones arises after Google has been severely fined for abussing its position by the European Commission
But one competitor warned that this could result in customers losing out. “If the largest bidder wins the agreement and not the best search engine, the consumer is the largest loser,” said Dr. Marc Al-Hames, CEO of Cliqz, a Munich-based search company. “Choosing the most private or innovative supplier should be the decision.
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It has now said that, starting in 2020, Android consumers in the European Economic Area (EEA) — a wider market than the EU — will be shown a screen allowing them to select four possible search providers to use their devices as default.
One of these alternatives will always be Google, but from the highest bidding rival search companies the other three will be selected. There will be a distinct bid method for each nation. “It’s right that an auction will be based on the fresh screen,” a spokeswoman from Google informed the BBC. Google will still allocate a total of three user search providers, even if they don’t all fulfill the minimum criteria.