San Francisco, March 20 (IANS) Google will now ask European Android users their browser and search engine preferences, following a regulatory action against the company for the way it bundles softwares in its mobile operating system (OS).
Last year, Google was fined a record $5 billion by the European Union (EU) regulators for violating anti-trust laws and was ordered to stop “illegally tying” its browser Chrome and its search app to Android.
Post the EU ruling, the search engine giant started charging manufacturers licensing fees for Play Store and other apps, while offering the option to include Chrome and Google’s search app in the overall package for free, The Verge reported.
“Now we’ll ensure that Android phone owners know about the wide choice of browsers and search engines available to download on their phones,” Kent Walker, Senior Vice President, Global Affairs, Google, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.
“We’ve always tried to give people the best and fastest answers, whether direct from Google, or from the wide range of specialist websites and app providers,” Walker said.
The company plans to make further updates in Europe over the next few months.
In 2010, Microsoft showed its “browser ballot” web page to Internet Explorer users to comply with a similar European Commission ruling. Later in 2014, Microsoft retired the page.