No more pay-to-play: Google is now showing alternative search engines in Android for “free”

From September, Android users can choose their preferred search engine from up to twelve instead of four providers. Google also removes the obligation to auction pay-to-play.

The search engine company Google, which is also responsible for the mobile operating system Android, has had a hard time granting its competition barrier-free access to users’ devices. In response to a billion-dollar penalty from the EU Commission because Google is said to have exploited the dominant position of its search engine with Android, the US group responded with pay-to-play.

Android search: Google rivals had to pay

Google alternatives such as Duckduckgo, Ecosia or Bing had to offer three available places for the selection menu in auctions. Only the three highest bidders made it into the selection – besides Google. Incidentally, Google itself did not pay. All of that is changing now. Because the auction process, which Google described as “fair and objective”, found both the competitors and the EU Commission anything but fair, as heise.de reports.

In the autumn, Duckduckgo, Ecosia, Lilo, Qwant and Seznam wrote an open letter to the EU Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, asking that they work together with Google on a change in the auction procedure. The initiative was obviously successful.

Choice-Screen: Make 12 out of 4

Because, so Google: “Following further feedback from the Commission, we are now making some final changes to the selection screen. This also includes free participation for search providers “.

The selection of Google alternatives in Android is increasing. (Image: Google)

In addition, the number of providers displayed on the screen will be increased. Users should be able to choose from up to twelve search engines when setting up their Android device. According to Google, the order of the providers is determined by chance. Which providers are displayed can vary from country to country.

The alternative providers are very happy. “This is a real David versus Goliath story – and David won. This is an important day and a real moment to celebrate for Ecosia, ”said Christian Kroll, CEO of Ecosia.

Google itself is against it confident of victory. You will prevail because Google has the most helpful search engine. Accordingly, Google wants to invest more in search and Android. In any case, the group is pleased about the open dialogue with the EU Commission.

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