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Google reveals first rival search engines for Android users

The UK will be able to choose between Google itself, DuckDuckGo, Info.com and Bing.

Users in the UK will be able to choose between Google itself, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Info.com (Yui Mok/PA)
Users in the UK will be able to choose between Google itself, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Info.com (Yui Mok/PA)

By Jamie Harris, PA Science Technology Reporter

Google has revealed the rival search engines that will appear as alternatives to its own web service on Android devices in the EU later this year.

The tech firm was told to pay £3.9 billion in July 2018 by the European Commission competition authorities, for allegedly abusing its market position through the Android mobile operating system.

In response, Google said it would present users across the European Economic Area with the option to choose a preferred search engine when setting up any new Android smartphones or tablets.

The chosen search engine provider will then become the default in the search box that is found on the home screen, in the Chrome web browser if it is installed, as well as installing the search app of that provider.

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Microsoft-owned Bing is only listed in the options for the UK (Nick Ansell/PA)

Providers interested in being on the selection screen were asked to submit bids stating how much they are willing to pay every time a person chooses their search engine instead of Google, with choices varying in each country.

Using the “fourth-price” auction system, the three highest bidders win a spot and all pay the amount offered by the fourth-highest bid. This is repeated every four months.

DuckDuckGo and Info.com are among the most popular options available in most countries, while Microsoft-owned Bing is least favoured, only appearing in the three available to the UK.

The full selection to go against Google itself in the UK are DuckDuckGo, Info.com and Bing.

In Ireland, users can choose between Google, DuckDuckGo, Info.com and PrivacyWall.

Users in the EU setting up a new Android device can expect to see the choice screen from March.

PA

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