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Google will allow European Android users to choose their default search engine starting early next year

Users can pick their preferred search provider from a choice screen when setting up an Android device for the first time.

What you need to know

  • Google will allow Android users in Europe to select their default search provider using a new choice screen starting in early 2020.
  • A new choice screen listing various search providers will be shown to users when they set up a new Android phone or tablet in Europe.
  • Google will hold auctions on a per-country basis to select search providers that will appear in the choice screen.

In order to comply with the European Commission’s decision on Android, Google had announced earlier this year that it would begin prompting Android users in Europe to choose their default browser and search engine when setting up a new device for the first time. The company has now said that it plans to allow Android users in Europe to select a search provider for both the search widget on the home screen and Chrome.

A list of four search providers, including Google, will be shown in a choice screen whenever someone sets up a new Android smartphone or tablet in Europe starting early next year. However, the providers listed in the choice screen will differ by country.

Google will hold first-price sealed-bid auctions to select the general search providers that will be shown in the choice screen to users on a per-country basis. The deadline to apply for the auctions and submit bids to Google is September 13, 2019. Google will be confirming the list of providers that will appear in the choice screen in each country on October 31, 2019.

In each country auction, search providers will state the price that they are willing to pay each time a user selects them from the choice screen in the given country. Each country will have a minimum bid threshold. The three highest bidders that meet or exceed the bid threshold for a given country will appear in the choice screen for that country.

People will still be able to customize their device even after the initial set up. This means they will be free to change the default search provider in the search widget or Google Chrome, change the way apps are arranged, and more.

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