Google gives Android users in Europe more search, browser options

To comply with a European Commission ruling, Android users in Europe will be presented with new screens offering alternatives to Chrome and Google Search.

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Google on Thursday outlined how it plans to give Android users in Europe more search app and browser options, in order to comply with a European Commission anti-trust ruling against it.

Back in July 2018, the European Commission hit Google with a record €4.34 billion fine for its restrictions on Android device makers and network operators, charging the restrictions were meant to "cement its dominant position in general internet search."

Google appealed the fine in October but a week later announced steps it would take to comply with the ruling. Then in March, the company announced it would offer more search and browser options for Android users in Europe.

Also: Google hit with €1.49 billion antitrust fine by Europe over online advertising

In a blog post Thursday, Google product manager Paul Gennai explained how it would do so: Over the next few weeks, Google will start rolling out new screens that will pop up the first time a European Android user opens Google Play after receiving an incoming update. One screen will present five options for search apps, and one screen will present five options for browsers.

The lists will include any search apps or browsers that are already installed. Apps that aren't installed will be chosen based on their popularity and shown in a random order. The new screens will show up on both new and existing Android phones in Europe.

If a user does choose to download any new search apps or browsers, Google will then help the user set them up. If a user downloads a search app from the screen, Google will also ask them whether they want to change Chrome's default search engine the next time they open Chrome.

Meanwhile, the European Commission last month fined Google yet again, this time hitting the company with a €1.49 billion fine over contracts with third-party websites that locked out rivals from placing search ads on these sites.