Since March 1, 2020, users who will start an Android smartphone for the first time will see a new form appear where they can choose the search engine that will be used by default on the home screen and in the Chrome browser. Besides Google, three other engines will be offered to them: DuckDuckGo, Info.com and Qwant. The order of appearance on the form will be random for each device, just to not favor one over the other.
If this choice now exists, it is not because Google suddenly wants to play the card of free and undistorted competition, but because the group was condemned in 2018 by the European Commission for abuse of a dominant position, and especially on the integration of search engines. To comply, the Mountain View company therefore decided to offer users up to three alternative search engines.
These engines were selected according to an auction process carried out in each European country. DuckDuckGo and Info.com were selected each time. The third thief varies depending on the country. Qwant, for example, was able to position itself in 8 other countries (Italy, Belgium, Spain, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Denmark, Greece, Portugal). The Yandex, PrivacyWall, GMX, Seznam and Givero engines have been selected in 16, 14, 3, 2 and 1 countries respectively. Surprisingly, Bing only appears in the UK.
These options are only valid for four months. For the following months, other auctions will be carried out.