In recent years, Google and other tech giants have come under scrutiny from many countries for anti-competitive practices. Now, ZDNet Reports that Australia reiterate its call for Google to include other Android search options in a separate screen.
Australian competition watchdog wants Google to include search engine choice screen on Android phones
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has found that more than a third of Android users don’t know how to change their smartphone’s default browser. Therefore, the entity wants Google to include a dedicated screen to choose your search engine on Android.
The ACCC finds that Google dominates the online search market and has therefore hurt competition and consumers. Android.
This “choice screen” will be a setup page that should present users with a number of possible search engines to use, instead of just sending them to a predefined default search engine. This way, users can make an informed choice on how they want to proceed. It could also help Google’s competitors grow. In particular, users will have more options to choose search engines and also take into account privacy and how personal data is collected and used. The request for inclusion of a “screen of choice” on Android has been published as part of the Third interim report of the Commission, which focused on market dominance by Google search.
Additionally, the ACCC says in the report that Google currently has 94% of the online search market, and this high percentage is mainly due to the fact that Google Search is the default search engine for Google Chrome and Apple Safari. Chrome and Safari currently have a combined browser market share of over 80% on desktops and almost 90% on mobile devices.
Another point of the report is that Google has gained significant value from being Safari’s default search engine. Estimates predict that Google collects around $ 8-12 billion a year in ad revenue simply because it is Safari’s default search engine, as well as the default provider for search queries for Siri and Spotlight.
The report also points out that Google’s royalty payments the company makes to Mozilla for having Google Search as its default search engine have contributed to more than 90% of Mozilla Firefox’s annual global revenue.
The problem with dominating and controlling the market is that it makes the field less innovative, while the different services have limited reach. For example, services that collect minimal data and focus on privacy, such as DuckDuckGo or Brave, have limited reach. The concept of “screen choice” is not an entirely new thing, as Google implemented the measure two years ago for new Android devices in some European countries due to European Union regulations. .
However, ACCC finds the EU solution with “limited impact” due to its design and the fact that it only applies to new devices.
The ACCC said the measure should initially apply to new and existing Android mobile devices on all search access points on those mobile devices, and that it should include the ban for a search results provider. to link or bundle research services with other goods or services.
According to the report, less than a third of people who responded to the ACCC 2021 consumer survey knew there were privacy-focused search engines and browsers, despite the fact that 70% of people feel concerned by the collection of personal data and information by browsers and search engines. On top of that, 35% of survey participants didn’t know or didn’t know how to change their smartphone’s default browser.