Australia plans to have Google offer alternative search engines on smartphones, IT News, ET CIO

An Australian regulator has said he wants Google to install a “screen of choice” on smartphones so that users can choose another search engine if they wish, a step towards challenging the dominance of the internet. Alphabet Inc unit in the research market.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) also wants to limit Google’s ability to pay Apple Inc to have its search engine installed as a default option on the smartphone maker’s devices, the regulator said on Thursday in a report.

The measures would put Australia on roughly the same footing as Europe, which has forced Google to offer a search engine choice on phones running its Android operating system. Google has 94% of the Australian search engine market, which earns money by selling ads.

“We are concerned that Google’s dominance and its ability to use its financial resources to fund arrangements to be the default search engine on many devices and other means by which consumers access search, such as browsers, is damaging competition and consumers, ”said ACCC President. Rod Sims in a statement.

“Google pays billions of dollars each year for these placements, which illustrates how extremely valuable being the default search engine is to Google’s business model.”

The search engine report was part of ACCC’s broader review of large internet companies, which this year led to laws requiring Google and social media giant Facebook Inc to pay media companies for content. of their websites.

A Google spokesperson said the company is reviewing the report and looking forward to discussing it with the ACCC and the government.

“Android gives people choice by allowing them to customize their device, from the apps they download to the default services for those apps,” the spokesperson said.

The ACCC said it would submit the potential measures for an industry consultation in 2022.

Rosemary S. Bishop