DuckDuckGo blows up Google’s Android ‘screen of choice’, says it incites advertising

Last year, Google announced that it would start letting European users choose their preferred search engine on Android when setting up their devices, after being fined a massive € 4.34 billion for anti-competitive practices. The company later revealed that the options offered on the search screen are determined by quarterly auctions, and in January the winners of the first auction were revealed.

Now after Google revealed the September auction winners, the privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo blew up the business process to assess legitimate competitors. Search engine options are determined by auction, which means the companies that make the most money can more easily afford to be on the list. DuckDuckGo believes the practice prompts businesses to run more ads, violate user privacy, and “not donate money to good causes.” The way the process works benefits companies that maximize their profits, which DuckDuckGo says it isn’t trying to do:

Although DuckDuckGo has been solidly profitable since 2014, we were excluded from this auction because we chose not to maximize our profits by exploiting our users. In practical terms, this means that our commitment to privacy and a cleaner search experience translates into less money per search. This means that we have to bid less compared to other companies that are maximizing their profits.

DuckDuckGo was one of the biggest winners in the early auctions, but the company believes that was because there was less competition, as some rivals may not have submitted the initial documents on time. He also did not have enough data to determine the impact of the auction on his business, so his initial bids were not viable in the long term. DuckDuckGo will now only be an option in four EU countries.

DuckDuckGo isn’t the first to complain about Google’s auction method, and the process has been the butt of criticism from the start. At the time, eco-friendly search engine Ecosia said it boycotted the auction (which DuckDuckGo chose not to do), saying the process went against the spirit of the decision that fined the company in the first place.

The privacy-focused search engine is asking the European Commission to force Google to redesign the screen of choice, eliminating the auction process altogether. The company offers an alternative design where the most popular search engines in each region are displayed in random order on the first screen, with the other alternatives displayed by scrolling, also in random order.

Talk to Business intern, a Google spokesperson said the Mountain View giant offered “unprecedented choice” and that the display had been developed to give users more choice while allowing Google to continue investing in Android for the long haul. term.

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