Google Offers Europeans Choice to Download Rival Web Browser
Google began prompting Android users in Europe with the choice of downloading an alternative to its own Chrome web browser and search engine, according to Bloomberg.
Following a software update, users in the EU opening Google’s mobile app store will be presented with a choice of alternatives to Google search and Chrome. The Alphabet unit said options will vary by market, but Microsoft’s Bing and Norway’s Opera are notable competitors in the European search and browser market respectively.
The changes could help Google avoid additional fines after being scrutinized by the EU for almost a decade. The European Commission last year fined Google 4.3 billion euros for strong-arming device makers into pre-installing its Google search and Chrome browser, giving it a leg up because users are unlikely to look for alternatives if a default is already preloaded. The EU ordered Google to change that behavior and threatened additional fines if it failed to comply.
The search giant announced in March that it would roll out the changes. Implementation of the browser selection screen is the first major manifestation of that guarantee, and closely resembles the approach Microsoft took a decade ago to appease European regulators for a similar reason.