Here comes the introduction of the “choice screen.”
A ‘choice screen,’ is what the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) wants to apply for their nationwide internet users. This means, instead of using Google as the dominant and default search engine in whole Australia, the ACCC aims to have a separate tab showing off all the choices for a search engine.
Will this work?
Which search engine do you use?
On Thursday, Oct. 28, ZDNet updated its report about the ACCC demanding fair competition in the battle of search engines.
As we all know, Google Search is the most used search engine in the world. One factor that resulted in that is Google Search is always the default search engine for most of the devices— whether desktop or mobile phones.
To fix that, ACCC reiterated its plan to create a ‘choice screen’ for all Australian users. As explained in the report, a choice screen allows users to choose which browser or search engine will they use for the day.
The ACCC believes that through this new setup, consumers will have the choice to pick out more secured browsers like DuckDuckGo or Brave, instead of using Google alone.
“Choice screens can give consumers the opportunity to make an informed choice about the search engine they use. Choice screens can also help reduce barriers to expansion for competitors to Google, who may offer consumers more options for alternative search engines around issues like privacy and how personal data is collected and used,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.
Can this happen?
Of course, there is still no assurance that the ACCC can legally do the said new internet setup. For now, it is just a proposition from the agency.
But for now, it seemed like the ACCC is not stopping to get what they wanted from the internet giants.
In their third interim report [PDF] for its five-year Digital Platforms Inquiry, the agency told the court that the majority of mobile users in the world do not know how to change browsers. Thus, they were presented that Google is the fine choice to do their research.
Another thing they pointed out is that Mozilla Firefox— using Google Search as their default engine— recorded up to 90 percent of their annual revenues, all because of Google’s contribution.
Thus, according to ACCC, Google reportedly owns 94 percent of the online search market. It was not clarified in the report, whether that applies to the whole world or just Australia.
As also mentioned, “Chrome and Safari have a combined browser market share of over 80% on desktop devices and almost 90% on mobile devices.”
With that evidence, the ACCC argued that Google has been controlling the market for their own interests and profitable gain. The agency justified that those acts are not fair to their competitors and could result in limited reach for other companies.
Just Android phones
For now, as written on their filed document, ACCC wanted to fix the Android phone’s search engine first. They said that the measure should be applied to all new and existing Android devices out there.
There is still no reports on whether they will expand to desktop devices too.