Google loosens its search engine grip on Android devices

Google bows down to rivals' pressure and allows them to compete in Europe for default search engines, expanding the EU Antitrust Regulators pledge two years ago.

As the 27 countries block considers rules that might be launched next year to require Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook to assure a level playing field for competitors, the action by the world's most popular internet search engine.

The mobile operating system of Google Android is operating on almost four-fifths of smartphones throughout the world. In 2019, the U.S. technology giant stated competitors will pay through an Auction to appear on the new Android smartphones in Europe, where users select their search engine of choice.

A 4.24-bn euro ($5.16 billion) fine handed out by the EU antitrust authorities, the EU Commission, in 2018, to Google's heart change because Android was unfairly used to consolidate the dominance of its search engine.

"We are presently implementing some final changes to the Choice Screen including free search providers for users. The number of search providers on the screen will also increase," Oliver Bethell, Google director, writes in Tuesday's blog post.

In September, the changes take effect, added the blog.

Following the concerns voiced by many of its rivals, the Commission noted that it has discussed possible changes with Google.

Google stated StatCounter, including Googles, will randomly present the top five most popular eligible search engines, while up to seven would be presented bottom.

Only four competitors selected for each EU country in separate auctions have previously appeared on Android screens.

However, Google could go farther, said DuckDuckGo, a rival search engine that complains about the auction process over time.

"Three years ago, Google is doing what it should have done: free Android search menu in EU," tweeted CEO Gabriel Weinberg. "There should, however, be Chrome on all platforms, example Chrome, always accessible, i.e. not just on factory reset, but all around the world."
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