Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Google will happily replace search on Android – for cash

Google is auctioning off spots to be included in a list of four default search engines options on Android, in a bid to comply with an EU antitrust ruling,

The move may seem like a boost for competitors like Bing and DuckDuckGo, it seems like Google has found a way to squeeze money from its rivals while appeasing the European Union’s concerns over competition.

Related: Best web browser

Google Search

Image Credit: Google

In 2020, Google is going to introduce the new measure which will see Android users in the European Economic Area (EEA) given the option to choose a different search provider for Chrome and for the search box on the home screen. Google will remain included in the choice of four default search engines.

Search providers will be required to apply to be part of the four search engines. An auction will follow with search engines competing via a first-price sealed-bid auction.

A first-price sealed-bid auction – which is also referred to as a blind auction – means bids are submitted in secret with bidders not knowing the value of the competing bids.

An auction will be held per EU country and on a yearly basis. The number and frequency of these auctions make it seem a cert that Google will make a stunning amount of money from them – money which comes from rivals they are supposedly creating better competition with.

Related: Best Android phones

Google’s new auction is the second stage in its attempts to convince the European Commission that it’s bundling of Google services into Android is not anti-competitive. 

Google started by provided users with the option to download additional search and browser apps in Google Play. The message came up the first time Google Play was opened following an update.

Google was most recently in the news for revelations about a potential upcoming Apple Arcade competitor – with a twist. Google looks set to launch a Play Pass. The Play Pass will reportedly offer ad and purchase-free games and apps for a monthly subscription.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.