Today, the Australian antitrust regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that its body plans to stop Google from being the default search engine for smartphones and tablets.
The ACCC suggested that firms using the Google Android operating system for mobile devices (old or new) set a mandatory selection interface and provide customers with other search engine providers.
According to the regulator, this restriction may be extended to Apple Inc.’s iPhone and desktop devices. These technology behemoths may be required to allow people to use various Internet browsers.
This plan adheres to Europe’s existing antitrust tradition. On Android devices, Google needs to implement a selection interface that allows consumers to freely choose whether or not to use search engine services supplied by minor competitors.
However, Google’s integration of its own search engine within the Android system has gone beyond simple text input and now includes some of the voice-activated functionalities of Google Assistant.
In addition, it involves various additional operating system structural functions. Providing a supplier selection interface is a modest step toward challenging Google’s supremacy in the business. According to the ACCC committee, Google controls 94% of the Australian search market.
The regulator’s actions this time are just the latest in a long-term strategy to counteract its dominant status. This year, Australia became the first country in the world to enact legislation requiring Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google to pay news publishers.
The ACCC has announced that it intends to begin consultations on these suggestions as soon as possible. Google Chrome and Apple Safari are the two most popular search engines in Australia, and they come pre-installed on most mobile devices.
Conclusively, the ACCC Chairman, Rod Sims, however, maintains that:
“Google’s existing dominance and its commercial arrangements have greatly increased the barriers to entry in the industry and prevented the search engine products of emerging competitors from reaching consumers.”