Google must be forced to abandon the default search engine on mobile phones and tablets.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on Thursday recommended a mandatory selection screen, an option for search engine providers, to be displayed on modern and new mobile devices running Google’s Android operating system. The Guardian is planning to extend the change to Apple Ink iPhones and Desktop Devices.
ACCC says it may ask users to give Internet browsers a choice.
The plan follows a similar approach in Europe, where it has developed a screen that allows users to select search engines run by small rivals on Google Android devices. Still, integrating the company’s Google search into Android is more than just a basic text input – it is part of the built-in Google Assistant and many other structural features of the operating system. The choice of supplier is only one step to promote the dominance of the company.
Google has a 94% share of the Australian search market, according to the ACCC. Further action by regulators extends attack on dominance in the country, and this year Google, the owner of Facebook Ink and Alphabet Ink, passed the world’s first law requiring publishers to pay for news.
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The ACCC said it planned to begin consultations on the proposals. Google is the default search engine for two of the most popular browsers already installed on most mobile devices in Australia: Google Chrome and Apple Safari.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said: “Google’s existing dominance and business structure have significantly increased access barriers and prevented new or emerging competing search engines from reaching consumers.