Google auctions the choice of search engine on Android

Google has announced that from next year, its mobile operating system Android will offer a window of choice of the default search engine, with an auction system of designation of engines displayed. A process that should remove the secondary drivers (Qwant, Lilo, Ecosia) almost certainly.

Google announced last weekend a novelty on its Android operating system with the auction in Europe of the site as the default search engine, in the menu presented to the Internet from the start.

Clearly, when, next year, a user will use Android for the first time, it will have a screen like this that will appear, allowing him to choose his default Web engine (it will be noted that on this screenshot provided by Google, Bing is not offered 😉)

Once this choice is made, the search engine selected will be the one used on the homepage of the smartphone as well as on Chrome. This window may be different depending on the country, as Google explains on a dedicated page .

The selection process will be done by auction, once a year, from January 1st to December 31st. In each national auction, search providers will indicate the price they are willing to pay each time a user selects them in the given country’s selection screen. Each country will have a minimum bid threshold. The top three bidders that meet or exceed the bid threshold for a given country will appear in the country’s selection screen, with Google already selected by default. In case of a tie, Google will randomly split the slots between the tied bidders. In the event that fewer than three eligible research suppliers meet or exceed the bid threshold, Google will randomly fill any remaining slots among eligible research providers. The pool of eligible suppliers will include those who have applied to participate in the selection screen but have not submitted bids.

The calendar is the following for the year 2020:

  • August 2, 2019  : announcement of the auction system put in place.
  • September 13, 2019   : deadline for eligibility and submission of applications.
  • October 31, 2019  : confirmation of the list of suppliers that will appear for each country.

The question for France is who will be admissible. Bing will definitely make an offer and should be easily accepted. If Yahoo! Also participating, there will not be much room for other more secondary actors such as Qwant, Ecosia or Lilo. But do they have the financial means to participate in these auctions anyway? For them, the salvation would certainly come from an eventuality where few engines would reach the threshold of submission and where the random system would set up.

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