The European Commission imposed a fine of €4.3 billion on Google in July 2018. Google had breached Europe’s antitrust laws for not presenting users with options for its services. They were also required to stop tying Chrome and search apps to Android.
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Google has now learned its lesson and is now conforming to the commission’s demands. Android users in Europe now have the option to choose a different search app and browser options in Google play. In a recent announcement, the app will introduce a new way for Android users in Europe to choose a search provider in Chrome.
By 2020, Android users in Europe will have a screen on their browser with several search providers selected at random. Google says it chooses what search provider to include based on their application and the price they are willing to pay when a user selects them. The eligible search providers will differ depending on the country.
Each country will have a minimum bid for inclusion threshold according to Google. The highest bidders for the country will be made visible on the choice screen for that country. However, all the search providers who apply or bid will not be available to the public. It is only the eligible ones with the highest bid will be available per country.
Google No Longer Monopolizes Search Engine In EU
This would mean that Google is going to be making money each time a user clicks on another search engine that isn’t Google Search. Google has found a way to inherently make the best of a bad situation. It could even make back the money it paid the European Commission after a while. However, this would not be particularly fair to the other search providers who have to bid for a place.
Meanwhile, search engine providers don’t need to submit a bid. Google in its statement says: “In the event that fewer than three eligible search providers meet or exceed the bid threshold, Google will fill any remaining slots randomly from the pool of eligible search providers. The pool of eligible providers will include those that applied to participate in the choice screen but did not submit bids.”
Users in Europe will now have options of search engines to choose from on their devices. They can make a selection during the initial setup and also make changes after.
It is a good thing the tech giants are finally getting called out for their illegal monopoly. Hopefully, other countries call them out on it.
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