Ecosia says it will boycott ‘search choice’ auction on Android in Europe

Ecosia says it will boycott ‘search choice’ auction on Android in Europe


Berlin-based search engine Ecosia says it will not participate in Google’s “search-choice” auction for Android devices in 2020 in Europe. Will other engines follow its lead?

Search choice to start in 2020 on Android. Earlier this month, Google announced that it will introduce a new “choice screen” in Europe for Android users in 2020. The screen will appear during set up and ask users to select a default search engine.

Google plans to use an auction, as it does with comparison shopping engines in Europe, to determine which search engines to present on the choice screen. The three highest bidders will appear, along with Google, as options for users. Google anticipates search choices will vary by country, with Google always present as a choice.

Search choice is Google’s effort to comply with the European Commission’s (EC’s) July, 2018 antitrust decision involving Android and app bundling. Google has appealed the decision and a roughly $5 billion fine.

has been more corrosive than beneficial.

It will be very interesting to see whether other search engines align themselves with Ecosia or decide to participate in the auction. Applications are due in mid-September. The EC still has the power to ask Google to come up with an alternative approach. And the market’s response will have a significant impact on their determination.

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