Today was a big day for Google in Europe.
Google announced today that it will begin asking Android users in Europe which browser and search engine they'd like to use. This decision comes after Google switched up its Android licensing fees in October 2018, saying that it would allow device makers to license Google's mobile apps separately from Google Search and Chrome while also offering those apps for free for those manufacturers that did license Google's Android app suite.
The option to choose a browser and search engine will be available to new and existing Android users "over the next few months," says Kent Walker, Google's SVP of Global Affairs.
"On Android phones, you've always been able to install any search engine or browser you want, irrespective of what came pre-installed on the phone when you bought it," Kent explains. "Now we’ll also do more to ensure that Android phone owners know about the wide choice of browsers and search engines available to download to their phones."
Meanwhile, the European Commission is fining Google €1.49 billion ($1.7 billion USD) for breaching EU antitrust rules and "abusive practices in online advertising". The Commission says that Google has "abused its market dominance by imposing a number of restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites which prevented Google's rivals from placing their search adverts on these websites."
This fine comes less than one year after the European Commission fined Google €4.34 billion ($5 billion USD) for imposing illegal restrictions on Android device makers and wireless carriers to solidify its internet search dominance.