Started from last Thursday, Android devices users in Europe are now be able to opt from five of Google’s rival search engines and browsers, a latest move by Google trying to appease the concerns of EU antitrust authorities and to avoid fresh penalties, a senior Google executive said.
Google last year not only faced record fines of 4.34 billion euro for using its dominating position of its mobile software to hinder other players competing with it in areas like internet browsing apps but had been ordered to bring proposal to give its rivals a fair chance to compete with the Alphabet’s unit.
The European Commission said that Google utilized its dominating position to get the unfair advantage of its Chrome browser and Google search app pre-installed on Android devices.
Last month, without sharing any details, Google announced that it would make the option available to Android users to choose browser and search engine from.
Users in Europe opening Google’s app store will now be seeing new screens with download options available for different browsers and search apps, Google’s product management director Paul Gennai said in a blog.
Two screens, one for browsers and another for search apps will surface on user’s monitor or display, each containing a total of five apps, which will also include apps that are already installed on that device, he said.
The five apps will be chosen on the criteria of popularity determined on the basis of data from the industry as well as number of downloads in that specific country and then will be appearing on the screens in randomly order.
Both new and existing Android users in Europe will experience the new options appearing on their screens.
FairSearch in a statement rejected and called the Google’s effort of choice screen for Android as insufficient because it does not address the main issue as Google apps are still the default on all Android device.