Following the European Commission’s antitrust ruling against Google last March, the US tech giant is being forced to offer Android users in the EU multiple search engine options to choose from. As part of the plans, people in the region will get to choose their default search engine from at least four options while setting up their Android devices from March 1.
While one of the options will, obviously, be Google itself, the others would vary from one country to another based on the money these operators are willing to pay Google to get on the so-called ‘Choice Screen’ – the options list that was designed in consultation with the European Commission and, will be presented to Android handset users in the region when setting up their device for the first time.
Now that the highest bidders have been announced, Microsoft’s Bing seems to have lost out to the independent, privacy-focused service, DuckDuckGo, which has carved out a niche for itself among netizens concerned about their online privacy. According to the official list, DuckDuckGo will be an option in all the EU countries, while Bing will be conspicuous by its absence. The only place in Europe where Microsoft’s search engine will be offered is the UK, where DuckDuckGo and Info.com will be the other third-party options. You can hop over to the official Android blog to see the entire list or know more about the Choice Screen.
It’s worth noting here that Ecosia, a search engine run by an environmental advocacy group that claims to plant trees around the world with its search profits, boycotted the entire auction process, saying that Google’s actions violated “the spirit of the EU ruling”. In a press statement, its CEO and founder Christian Kroll further said that the company will register an official complaint with EU legislators against the US tech giant.