Google has adjusted to “feedback” from the EU Commission and is opening up its Android so that other search providers can compete for free on Android-based devices in Europe. “We will also be increasing the number of search providers shown on the screen”, the company’s Director Oliver Bethell wrote in a blog post.
Google has earlier said competitors would have to pay via an auction for being shown on a choice screen on new Android devices in Europe so users could choose another search engine.
The company has earlier been fined Euro 4.24 billion for unfair use of Android to keep search competitors out.
The importance of the change now announced by Google is explained by the fact that Android mobile operating system runs on four-fifths of the world’s smartphones.
Bethell says the company has had “constructive discussions with the European Commission for many years about how to promote even more choice on Android devices, while ensuring that we can continue to invest in, and provide, the Android platform for free for the long term.”
“We are now making some final changes to the Choice Screen including making participation free for eligible search providers. We will also be increasing the number of search providers shown on the screen. These changes will come into effect from September this year on Android devises”.
The change for search on European Android devises was announced by Google the day after it made substantial changes of its Ad Manager after having been fined Euro 220 million by the French competition authority for abusing its advertising power. The authority said Google has been promoting its own online advertising services to the detriment of rivals with Ad Manager favouring the company’s own ad marketplace, Google AdX.