Is it possible to beat google

Tech corporations and regulationHow Google out one Billion fine a business makes

The EU Competition Commission requires more than one search engine to be preinstalled on Android devices by default. Google has already figured out how to turn it into a business. The group is auctioning the places among its competitors.

Google needs to make other search engine apps more visible on Android devices. The EU competition authorities decided in July 2018 and obliged Google to pay a fine of 4.3 billion euros.

The US tech group has a monopoly on Android devices - the search engine is preset as the standard search engine. In order to enable competition, users must be able to choose between alternatives.

Google is always there

Therefore, from March 1st, 2020: When setting up a smartphone or tablet running Android, three other search engines must be offered in addition to Google that do not belong to Google's parent company Alphabet. That means: The tech group is always there among four possible providers. The US digital company has its competitors pay for the inclusion of other search engines - by means of an auction.

"With the auction, the tech company has found a way to get the billion-dollar fine."
Martina Schulte, Deutschlandfunk Nova reporter

For this purpose, Google auctions three list positions for the search engine start screen every three months. The three most bidding search engines are given a place on the selection screen for a period of three months.

One auction every three months

Once the three months have expired, the open spaces will be auctioned again by Google. For the search engines this means: once they have won the auction, they are preinstalled by default on all Android devices that were set up by users during this three-month period.

"For us users that doesn't mean that we are necessarily offered the best or most famous search engines."
Martina Schulte, Deutschlandfunk Nova reporter

In addition to Google, users in Germany can also opt for the search engines from duckduckgo, gmx or The latter in particular is criticized because is less of a search engine of its own, but rather summarizes the results of other search engines, as Ecosia CEO Christian Kroll explains to tech magazine The Verge.

Behind the site is a large American ad tech company that places advertisements on major search engines such as Google or Bing in order to then redirect users to an information space advertisement page. Ecosia has declined to participate in the Google auction, calling it anti-competitive.