Google allows Android users in Europe to choose the default search engine

Aug 2 (Reuters) – Google will let users of Android devices in Europe choose their default search engine from four options, including Google Search, the U.S. company has said, as it tries to allay antitrust concerns over the EU and avoid further sanctions.

New Android smartphones and tablets shipping to the European Economic Area (EEA) will host a “choice screen” displaying four search engines for users to select from, starting in early 2020, Alphabet Inc’s Google said in a blog post. (

Search engine providers will be allowed to bid in an auction to win a place on users’ screens, with Google becoming the device’s default search engine on the Android home screen as well as on the Chrome browser.

Auctions will be conducted in each EEA country and the three highest bidders for a given country will appear on the “choice screen”, the US technology company said.

Google’s move follows the European Commission’s decision last year to fine the tech giant 4.34 billion euros ($4.81 billion) for blocking rivals on its Android mobile operating system.

The European Commission has said Google has an unfair advantage by pre-installing its Chrome browser and Google Search app on Android smartphones and laptops.

Google has since allowed Android users in Europe to choose competing browsers and search engines from five options. ($1 = 0.9022 euros) (Reporting by Philip George in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)