Bing is a Big Winner in Google’s Search Screen Auction

Posted on September 29, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, Google with 2 Comments

Microsoft’s Bing came out the overall winner in Google’s search choice screen auction on Android in Europe, the search giant revealed.

“The choice screen will always show a maximum of 4 providers, including Google,” an updated post on Android.com notes. “The auction winners, and Google, will be ordered randomly in the choice screen on a per device basis. In the event of a tie, Google will allocate the slots randomly among the tied bidders on a per device basis.”

Bing is the only top-tier search choice in the auction, and it won a spot on the ballot in 13 of the 31 countries. But they are arguably 13 of the most lucrative markets: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. (Germany’s GMX won a spot in 13 countries, too.)

DuckDuckGo was the big loser, from what I can tell: The search engine will only be listed as a choice in 4 of the 31 countries, and they’re all smaller markets: Bulgaria, Croatia, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.

Bing’s fate here is a nice reversal of fortune of the original auction round, back in January. At that time, Bing came in dead last, behind DuckDuckGo, Info.com, and several local choices. This week’s announcement will impact the choice screen for the next six months.

As you may recall, Google was forced by the European Commission last year to implement so-called choice screens for search providers and web browsers when users first bring up a new Android device in the EU. The idea is to give consumers a choice of Google or its alternatives in these areas so that the search giant can’t continue abusing its mobile device monopoly power.

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