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Google’s direct rivals will no longer have to pay to become the default search engine on Android phones for users in the European Union.

The search giant has dropped its “pay-to-play” auction system after intervention from the EU’s competition watchdog.

This system meant competing search providers like DuckDuckGo and Microsoft’s Bing paid to bid to replace Google as the default Android search engine. A “choice screen” appeared on new Android phones in Europe, and allowed users to pick from these alternatives, replacing Google’s search engine on their devices.

It emerged after the EU’s competition arm slapped Google with a $5 billion fine for anticompetitive behavior in 2018, saying it had abused its dominant Android mobile operating system to cement the popularity of Google’s own apps and services.

Google subsequently held quarterly, paid auctions for its competitors. A maximum of four different search engines, including Google, were offered via the choice screen and different EU markets see different search engine options.

In a blog post published on Tuesday, Google said its competitors would no longer have to pay for a position on the screen, and it would increase the options to more than four. It said the new model …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Technology

      

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