EU under pressure to limit Google’s default position in web browsers
- Four of Google’s best-known search competitors have called on the EU to take further anti-trust measures.
- They called on lawmakers to ban Google’s default position on browsers like Safari and Firefox.
- Google has entered into multi-billion deals with Apple and Mozilla to maintain its position.
Regulators must end Google’s default stance on web browsers like Safari and Firefox to dismantle the tech giant’s alleged monopoly in the search market, according to four of its biggest rivals.
Beyond Google’s internal web browser, Chrome – which controls 69% of the market – the company also has multi-billion dollar deals with both Apple and Mozilla to remain the benchmark search engine for their respective browsers.
Search engine rivals
, Ecosia, Lilo and Qwant called on lawmakers to end Google’s “hoarding of default positions” on web browsers, in an open letter to the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm. The rivals have asked the commission to make it easier for users to set up or switch to alternatives.
“Google would not have become the global gatekeeper of the market that it is today without years of blocking these defaults,” he said, adding that if lawmakers did not fix the problem: “We believe that the status quo will continue, leaving the root cause of this problem. problem unchanged. ”
The move comes just weeks after Google removed its controversial “screen of choice” for Android users in Europe, under which competing search engines bid for space by default on phones using the Android system. business operation.
Google introduced the system after it was fined $ 5 billion from the EU in 2018, but ended it following further complaints from competitors. New Android phone users are now presented with the five most popular search engines in their respective countries, along with seven alternatives.
But people like DuckDuckGo and Ecosia say the EU must go further, former CEO Gabriel Weinberg accusing Google of cutting competition “by making change unnecessarily difficult”.
“The EU now has a window of opportunity to take this effective and decisive step to reduce Google’s search monopoly and show the world how it should be done,” he said.
Ecosia’s public policy chief Sophie Dembinski told Insider that “much remains to be done to curb Google’s dominance in the European search market,” and called on lawmakers to implement a rule of ” one-click switching “under digital markets. Act – the flagship piece of digital block regulation, which is still ongoing.
“We call on the European Commission to play a leading role in ensuring that the DMA successfully tackles the most acute hurdle in search: Google’s hoarding of default positions,” said Dembinski.
“Such anti-competitive behavior removes user choice and fair competition in the search market and is likely to continue to do so unless policymakers take urgent action to apply similar logic to Google Chrome users by demanding that the tech giant implements a “one-click switch.”
Google has previously defended its commitment to giving users “unprecedented choice” to decide which apps they install, use, and set by default on their devices. The company did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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