As a result of a record, fine levied at Google by the European Commission, the corporate is providing other search engines to grab a chance to govern search functionality on new Android devices.
Starting next year, Google will reportedly provide Android users in the European Union a method to choose from a list of search providers. Once an option is chosen during setup from a choice screen, it will become the default search provider across the operating system and apps like Chrome. Users will also be able to remove or disable the Google search widget, and the corporate says that configuration will be remembered even after restoring a device.
What is worth noting is that search engines will have to go through a “first-price sealed-bid auction,” with the three winners taking the empty slots alongside Google in the choice screen and also the list will be randomly ordered. Then they’ll have to pay the search giant every time their service is chosen.
The auction will be country-specific, but Google hasn’t said what the minimum bid threshold is, and will be keeping the total number of bidders a secret. If there are fewer than three services that fulfill the requirement, the corporate will fill the available slots with a randomly selected search provider from a pool that will be confirmed for each country within the EU by October 31.
If this looks like a pay-to-play to you, you’re not alone. CEO of Quant told Bloomberg that his company is certainly keen on taking part in the auction, but also criticized the specifics of the process. He noted that Google’s idea to “ask for cash just for showing a proposal of alternatives” is yet another instance of the very abuse that resulted in the $5 billion fine from the EU last year.
Others like DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg are calling upon regulators to work with Google and other search providers and modify the “ballot box” system to something fair for everyone who wants to be on the choice screen.