Technology New world. European search engines united against Google over Android

New world. European search engines united against Google over Android

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager during a press briefing on Google’s illegal anti-competition practices in Brussels (Belgium) on July 18, 2018 (JOHN THYS / AFP)

They are called Qwant, DuckDuckGo, Lilo, Ecosia or Seznam. They have just written to the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, to protest against the auction system to which Google subjects them to have the right to appear on Android smartphones.

These European search engines, competitors of the almighty Google, you may be using them on your smartphone. But if you have an Android device, you have noticed that you are the one who has to choose the one that interests you during the initialization of the device. This is called the “Choice Screen”. This is the consequence of the conviction in 2018 of the American giant by the European Commission, for abuse of a dominant position.

What you do not see is that, to have the privilege of appearing in this “Choice screen”, the engines in question are regularly put in competition. Every three months, they must participate in auctions and only those who pay the most have the privilege of being part of the selection.

Today, people no longer want this system. They denounce an unfair and ruinous mechanism which, in passing, fills the pockets of Google. They therefore decided to alert the European Commission. This is not, for the moment, a legal action in due form. Maybe one day ?

Meanwhile, in the United States, a somewhat similar affair puts pressure on the two giants Google and Apple. This concerns, this time, the iPhone. The US Department of Justice has just filed a complaint, described as historic by the New York Times, against the two monsters of Silicon Valley. Reason: for several years, Google has paid Apple astronomical annual sums, ranging from 8 to 12 billion dollars, in order to have the right to be the exclusive search engine by default on iPhones.

Every time you search the internet on an iPhone with Safari browser (owned by Apple), you are unknowingly using Google Search (owned by Alphabet / Google). Again, this is not very good for the competition.

We will see what justice will decide. In the meantime, Apple could try to develop its own search engine, in order to do without Google. But when we see that this is what they have been trying to do for years, without much success, with GPS mapping, we say to ourselves that it is not won …

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