Android phones have been bundled with many applications from Google. For the search engine, the company embeds Chrome by default. If you don’t want to use Chrome, of course, users can download other search apps through the Play Store. Well, starting this fall, Google will offer different service options by default.
If you buy an Android phone in Europe, you will be offered the use of a Bing search. Google outlined its search engine selection screen for the last quarter of 2020 following the 2018 European Union antitrust decision, namely, Bing will be one of the options for Android users on the continent from today, October 1.
The search engine made by Microsoft will be available in the UK and 12 other countries, including France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
However, Bing will not be the only search option. American companies PrivacyWall and Info.com will be available in 22 and 31 countries respectively, while the privacy-oriented DuckDuckGo search, made by GMX Germany and Yandex Russia, will also be available.
These selections are the result of an auction process that awards random slots on the screen to the three highest bidders in a particular country. In other words, Bing ended up being the Android search option in Europe because Microsoft had paid to be included.
Not everyone is happy with Android’s antitrust decision approach. DuckDuckGo has criticized the auction method for allegedly removing other options and giving machines that might compromise privacy in favor of bigger bids.
The auction is effectively “getting out” DuckDuckGo in several countries because it focuses more on privacy and “cleaner” search, according to the company.
DuckDuckGo said it would submit an appeal to the European Commission showing the auction-based system “definitely removed” its search from Android’s selection screen. Even though it was originally the first choice.
Regardless of whether the system provides a truly fair search engine opportunity, at least it still offers more options than before Android’s antitrust decision. The European Union is concerned that Google is using contracts and incentives to prevent cellphone makers from entering third-party search options on Android devices.
Google itself is against the decision because it wants to prioritize platforms in its ecosystem rather than open platforms. But the previous approach left Europeans to only have Google search enabled by default on Android phones.