Australia wants to end Google’s monopoly

Australia wants to end the monopoly of Google and give users the ability to choose the search engine they choose to use.

Several tech giants have come under scrutiny by competition watchdogs around the world, and Google has been friends with the ACCC for some time. Now, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, or ACCC for short, wants Google to show Australian search engine options on Android phones.

ACCC wants Google to include a mandatory “selection screen” for search engines on all Android devices in its latest report. Notably, this is not the first time the Australian competition watchdog has used Google for its search engine.

In 2019, the ACCC wants Google to show Australians options for EU search engines, meaning users can choose which search engine to enter for their respective searches .

“Google continues to have significant market power in the provision of general search engine and search advertising services in Australia, with 94% and 97% market share respectively”, the ACCC notes in edition of the September Digital Platform Services Survey Report.

The results further highlight how Google and Apple share Internet search engine dominance.
“Browser is an important gateway for consumers to access and use search engines on the Internet.

On desktop and mobile devices, the browser offered in Australia is concentrated primarily between the browser and the web browser. Google browser, Chrome and Apple browser, Safari. Safari comes pre-installed on all Apple-powered desktop and mobile devices. The report adds that Chrome comes pre-installed on the majority of Android mobile devices.

However, the report also adds that the default search engine is Google, even on Safari, which means the company has even more market share.

Google Search is the default search engine on Australia’s two most popular browsers, Chrome and Safari. Google Search is also the default search engine for voice assistants on iOS and Android mobile devices.

It also comes pre-installed as a search and search utility app on most Android mobile devices,” he added.
The report also highlights the revenue sharing between Google and Apple from search engines. ZDNet was the first to report the latest ACCC investigation.

He noted that the US Department of Justice, or DOJ for short, referenced public estimates that Apple’s share of Google’s search advertising revenue is between $812 billion per year. Worldwide to default Google search via Safari and use Google for Siri and Spotlight to respond to general search queries across Apple devices.

EU did this before Australia

If you are wondering if Australia will become the first country to implement premium screens for search engines, the EU has already implemented it.

However, the ACCC wants to take a new approach, in which Google will provide the option for new and existing Android users to have a selection screen.

ACCC also shares some of the data points it collects, such as on mobile devices. He claims that 70% of consumers say the main web browser they are using comes pre-installed. While 86 percent kept the default search engine preset on their web browser.

The watchdog adds that in the past two years, only about a fifth (18%) of consumers said they had changed the default mobile search engine preset, and about 23% have changed on their desktop device.

ACCC also mentions the names of alternative search engines with innovative services, such as DuckDuck Go, a privacy-focused search engine, and Brave Search, which uses an independent index for the most frequently searched queries.

Currently, the ACCC requests are being sent to Google and we will have to wait and see what the company will come up with.

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