In an announcement, Google stated which search engines are going to appear on its default search provider screen for Android users in the EU. First reported Thursday by the Verge, Bing will appear as an option in the UK only, and DuckDuckGo and Info.com will appear with Google in all 31 EU territories.
On March 1, users in the EU who are setting up their Android devices for the first time will be shown the search choice screen. Google, DuckDuckGo, Info.com and one other search engine (which varies depending on the region) will appear as options.
Once the desired provider is selected, that application will be installed and it will become the default search engine in Chrome and on the home screen search box.
These particular search engine providers were selected using an auction method in which Google accepted bids on how much each provider was willing to pay per users that selects their search engine as the default.
The auctions were conducted on a per-country basis, using a “fourth-price” system. With this auction, the three winners pay Google the amount of the fourth-highest bid. The search providers selected in the first auction cycle will appear on the search choice screen for four months (until June 30), with future auctions occurring quarterly.
Unfortuantely, the auctions weren’t necessarily fair for everyone. “We believe this auction is at odds with the spirit of the July 2018 EU Commission ruling,” said Christian Kroll, CEO of Berlin-based search engine Ecosia, in a statement sent to Search Engine Land.
Ecosia uses its profits for reforestation efforts. “Planting trees in biodiversity hotspots is our priority, this means that biddings processes like this cut out purpose driven search engines like Ecosia,” said Kroll. Ecosia said that it would boycott the auction after the methodology was announced back in August 2019.
It seems that Bing was absent as a search choice, with the exception of the UK, whre search ad revenue is likely to be higher than in nations with a lower GDP, said The Verge.