A PYMNTS Company

Australia Seeks Feedback On Competition In Web Browsers

 |  March 15, 2021

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) is looking for the input of individuals and “industry participants” regarding “choice screens” that let users select web search services on tablets and mobile devices instead of a search service chosen for them ahead of time, according to an announcement.

“We know that, in general, setting a default option substantially increases the likelihood that consumers and businesses will stick with that option. This can have the effect of reducing competition and consumer choice in the supply of these services,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in the announcement.

Device makers typically provide mobiles, tablets and desktops with an operating system installed ahead of time, with the inclusion of a particular web browser that often chooses a default search service to be provided inside of the program.

The submissions to an issues paper, released on Monday, March 15, will inform an upcoming report on the impact of default settings and pre-installation of search services and web browsers on consumer choice and competition.

The report, to be finalized later this year, will also outline the current roll out of choice screens for search services on Android devices in Europe and examine what measures other than choice screens could encourage competition and improve consumer choice for search services and web browsers in Australia.