In its newest effort to fend off fresh antitrust penalties in the European Union, Google will let rivals buy the chance to gain default search engine status on new European Android devices. New Android tablets, as well as smartphones, will come with four options for a default search engine, Reuters reported.
Providers for search engines will have the ability to compete in an auction for a place on the “choice screen.” Users will be able to choose their preferred search engine from four options, including Google. The top three bidders for a particular country will have a choice screen appearance.
Seznam, a Czech search engine, said the implications were unclear. Michal Feix, the former chief executive of Seznam and now a partner at a consultancy that is advising the firm, “It is hard to comment based on a screenshot and a few sentences. Seznam, and I believe others, too, were not contacted by Google about this proposition, so we have to wait for all-important details.”
In separate news, Google was hit with a $1.7 billion (€1.49 billion) fine by the European Union, per news earlier this year. According to past reports, the fine was centered on what the bloc said was the firm’s abuse of its dominant position in the search engine market and efforts by Google to block companies that sell text ads based on search results of competitors.
This marks the third antitrust penalty from the European Union since 2017. But it is smaller than the combined $7.67 billion the bloc has fined Google in the past two instances.
According to the past report, that was the last of the charges the EU has filed against Google, ending what has been an investigation of almost 10 years. It was noted the fine doesn’t come with an order for Google to overhaul its practice.