Google will allow rivals to buy the default search engine position for new Android devices in EU countries, Reepera said on Friday, evaluating it as an attempt to resolve allegations of breach of EU antitrust law.
The new Android phones and tablets, which will reach the EU market in the first part of 2020, will offer their users the ability to choose a default search engine from the four services listed in the so-called. selection screen – Google announced.
Competitive service providers will be able to apply for the default search engine position thanks to the special auction system. The three companies that offer the highest bid as part of the bidding will be up to Google on the screen, allowing the user to choose the default service. Product availability must vary by country and the availability of alternatives to Google's solutions, the company said.
According to Reuters, the group's decision is a direct result of a € 4.3 billion fine imposed on it by the European Commission last year. The EC then considered that Google was abusing its market position by pre-installing on its Android devices its Internet browser and Chrome browsers, which were selected as the default services for new smartphones and tablets, as well as PCs with the concern's operating system.
Referring to Google's proposals, the EC announced that it will monitor the implementation of the company's plans. The spokesman for the institution, however, estimated that the solution, proposed by the Mountain View concern, gives rival companies "a unique opportunity to take advantage of pre-installation contracts with manufacturers of smartphones and tablets that were not previously available."
Unlike Google's plans, one of the competing digital service providers, including the Internet search engine, is the Czech-listed Lista. According to a former head of the company, it is currently difficult to predict what the implications of Google's plans will be. Michal Feix, who currently advises List as a consultant, added that Google has not contacted the Czech company regarding its plans, "so all the important details will have to wait."