On Tuesday, Google LLC., the Alphabet Inc-owned world’s No 1 internet services provider, said that the search engine giant would allow its rivals to compete for free to become default search engines on Android devices in Europe starting from September this year, marking up the first mega-cap US tech conglomerate to bow down under fierce pressure from EU antitrust regulators.
In point of fact, latest move from Google LLC followed a roughly two-year long tug of war as the US tech titan had told in 2019 that its rivals would have to pay through an auction to pick up a spot on a ‘Choice Screen’ on new Android devices in Europe from which the users would be able to choose their preferred search engine citing its patent over Android OS.
However, the Mountain View, California-headquartered tech mogul’s latest change of heart comes over the heels of an EU antitrust move that could be rolled out as early as next year to force US-based tech behemoths likes of Amazon, Google, Apple alongside Facebook to lay off the groundwork of a level-playing field for the competitors.
Google loosens search engine grip in Europe
In factually, more than 80 per cent of the world’s smartphones have been operating on Google’s Android OS, which in effect had been enabling the online advertising industry giant to abuse its stance over preferred search engines on new android devices.
However, Google’s recent move to loosen its grasp on search engines in Europe followed a €4.24 billion in punitive measure that the EU Commission had handed over to Google LLC back in 2018s for an unfair abuse of its search engine dominance in new Android phones which came alongside built-in Google search engine.
Meanwhile, adding that the changes in preferred search engine ‘Choice Screen’ on Android OS in Europe would come into effect in September this year, Google director Oliver Bethell wrote in a blog post on Tuesday, “We are now making some final changes to the ‘Choice Screen’ including making participation free for eligible search providers. We will also be increasing the number of search providers shown on the screen”.