Google Faces Backlash Over Alleged Plan to Limit Search Engine Options on Android

By Madz Dizon

Jun 10, 2024 10:26 AM EDT

Google Records Voices, Saves Audio; Here’s What You Should Know!

(Photo : LEON NEAL/AFP via Getty Images)

There are allegations that Google may be engaging in anti-competitive practices by limiting options for search engines on its smartphones.

DuckDuckGo and Ecosia Accuse Google of Breaking Agreement

There has been significant backlash against the internet search giant for informing Britain's competition watchdog that it might discontinue offering Android phone owners the option to choose their browser during phone setup.

It is speculated that the five-year agreement has expired, leading to accusations from Google's smaller competitors, DuckDuckGo and Ecosia, that the tech giant intends to break the agreement in Britain.

They argue that this would decrease their website traffic and negatively impact their financial earnings.

According to sources, DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, and consumer rights groups have contacted the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to express their concerns. The CMA has been engaged in discussions with Google recently.

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Google Faces Scrutiny Over UK Choice Screen Removal

The choice screen tool provides consumers with a range of search engines to choose from during phone setup, giving a boost to competitors against Google, which currently dominates over 90% of the market share in Britain.

Under the bloc's new digital rules, Google is mandated to maintain the choice screen in Europe. However, a recent digital act has been implemented in Britain, and Google is not subject to the same regulations.

Google is under scrutiny in Europe due to the bloc's new digital market rules. These regulations can potentially impose significant fines on the company for engaging in anti-competitive behavior, The Telegraph reported.

Britain has also recently enhanced its own competition rules with the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill, which grants the CMA more authority to regulate tech giants.

Google and the CMA have discussed its choice screen, but the tech giant has not made a final decision to remove it.

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