Google Android

DuckDuckGo is the clear winner of Google’s first Android search provider auction

Google announced plans in 2019 to auction off three of the four positions of a new search provider selection screen on Android devices that are set up for the first time from March 1, 2020 on.

The decision followed a ruling by the European Union and a fine of 4.3 billion Euro caused by anti-competitive practices by Google in regards to the company’s search service, Chrome web browser, and Android operating system.

Google revealed that it would auction off three of the four places of a search provider selection list — the fourth place reserved for the company’s own search engine — that it would display to Android users from the European Union,

Unlike Microsoft’s forced Browser Ballot screen, which the company had to display to users from the European Union when Internet Explorer reigned supreme, Google selected an auction system instead of a system that would pick providers randomly from a list of options.

To make matters even more complicated, Google decided to auction off search provider slots for each member state individually.

CEOs of search companies were not happy about that and some companies, Ecosia being one, decided to boycott the auction entirely. Google plans to run auctions every four months and present the search providers that pay the most money per user as a choice in the country.

The first list of companies has been released (published by the Verge) and it is full of surprises. If you check out the list, you will notice that DuckDuckGo has won a slot in each of the member states. Microsoft’s Bing search engine, likely to the surprise of many, got a single search provider slot in the United Kingdom.

Next to DuckDuckGo, it is Info (dot.com) that comes second followed by Yandex, Qwant and PrivacyWall. Other search providers include GMX and Seznam who bid high enough to be listed in select countries.

Austria: DuckDuckGo, GMX, Info.com
Belgium: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, Qwant
Bulgaria: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, PrivacyWall
Croatia: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, PrivacyWall
Czech Republic: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, Seznam
Denmark: DuckDuckGo, Givero, Info.com
Estonia: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, Yandex
Finland: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, Yandex
France: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, Qwant
Germany: DuckDuckGo, GMX, Info.com
Greece: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, Qwant
Hungary: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, PrivacyWall
Iceland: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, PrivacyWall
Ireland: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, PrivacyWall
Italy: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, Qwant
Latvia: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, Yandex
Liechtenstein: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, Qwant
Lithuania: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, Yandex
Luxembourg: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, Qwant
Malta: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, PrivacyWall
Netherlands: DuckDuckGo, GMX, Info.com
Norway: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, PrivacyWall
Poland: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, Yandex
Portugal: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, Qwant
Republic of Cyprus: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, PrivacyWall
Romania: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, PrivacyWall
Slovakia: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, Seznam
Slovenia: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, PrivacyWall
Spain: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, Qwant
Sweden: DuckDuckGo, Info.com, PrivacyWall
United Kingdom: Bing, DuckDuckGo, Info.com

The list may not reflect the popularity of search engines in a country as it shows the three search provides that bid the highest amount in the auction. It remains to be seen if EU officials are satisfied by the implementation or if Google will be asked to change the process

Android users may change the search engine at any time after the initial selection was made and may also install other browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Brave, Opera, or Vivaldi on the device.

Now you: what is your take on the system and search provider selection system?

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