Google to allow rivals bid to become default search engine on Android

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Alphabet Inc said it will henceforth allow its rivals in Europe to bid against its Google search engine to become default search engines on its Android operating system.

The move is part of Google’s new policy to ward off anti-competition claims against the tech giant.

In a blog post, Google said:

It is “implementing a choice screen for general search providers on all Android phones and tablets shipped into the European Economic Area (EEA) where the Google Search app is pre-installed.”

“The choice screen will appear during initial device setup and will feature multiple search providers, including Google,” the company said.

Google explained that:

“The user will be required to choose one search provider from the choice screen during setup. The effect of a user selecting a search provider from the choice screen will be to (i) set the search provider in a home screen search box to the selected provider, (ii) set the default search provider in Chrome (if installed) to the selected provider, and (iii) install the search app of the selected provider (if not already installed).

However, in the case where a user takes an action to remove the Google search widget (including by restoring a previous device configuration where the widget had been removed), the widget will not be shown.

The tech giant said the choice screen will begin appearing on devices distributed in the EEA starting in early 2020.