‘DuckDuckGo loses spot on Android selection screen in many European countries’

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The privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo is losing its place in the search engine selection screen in Android. That writes business newspaper The Wall Street Journal. The company says it has bid lower than last time.

In addition to DuckDuckGo, Ecosia is also losing its place in many countries, The Wall Street Journal writes. DuckDuckGo was visible as a choice in many different countries, but will now only be seen in four unnamed smaller countries. Google has not yet announced the results.

Google has been showing the selection screen since 1 March during the installation of Android in European member states. With this change, Google complies with the requirements of the European Commission. In 2018, the company fined 4.34 billion euros for abuse of power in Android. Google would favor its own apps and hinder competing services.

Which three search engines Google shows depends on a bidding system per country. Search engines that register had to specify an amount per country that they are willing to pay in order to appear in the selection screen. The winning parties must then pay the amount that the fourth highest bidder has bid. Google holds such an auction every four months so that a different selection may appear after each period.

DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg says it was not convenient for the company to offer more because it would not make a profit. According to him, the auction leads to more users, but because of the auction it also costs more. Weinberg says the auction design will make ad-focused search engines more likely to win the auction, as opposed to privacy-focused search engines. Previously, other search companies said that the setup would not match the spirit of the European Commission’s decision.

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