Google rivals want EU lawmakers to act via new tech rules



The Google application can be seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken on July 13, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / File Photo

BRUSSELS, Oct. 7 (Reuters) – DuckDuckGo and three other rival Google search engines on Thursday urged EU lawmakers to take action against the Alphabet Unit (GOOGL.O) via new tech rules, saying they didn’t had yet to see positive results from an antitrust ruling against Google.

In 2018, the European Commission imposed a record fine of 4.24 billion euros ($ 5 billion) on Google for unfairly using Android to consolidate the dominance of its search engine and ordered it to ensure rules a level playing field for its rivals.

Google subsequently made changes and four months ago it said it would let its competitors compete for free to be the default search engines on Android devices in Europe.

US search engine DuckDuckGo, Germany’s Ecosia and their French counterparts Qwant and Lilo have said lawmakers should use technology rules drafted by EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager called the Digital Markets Act (DMA ) to ensure competition.

“Despite recent changes, we do not believe it will significantly increase market share due to its persistent limitations,” they said in a joint letter to European Parliament lawmakers.

They said that a preferences menu that allows users to choose their default search when setting up an Android device is not available on the Chrome desktop or other operating systems, and that it is only displayed once to users.

“The DMA should enshrine in law the requirement for a search engine preferences menu that would effectively prohibit Google from acquiring search access points by default of operating systems and browsers from gatekeepers,” they declared.

The DMA could enter into force in 2023 once it gets the green light from lawmakers in the EU and EU countries.

($ 1 = € 0.8654)

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; edited by Richard Pullin

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