Last year, Google was fined a record $5 billion by the European Commission for its illegal Android practices. This included shipping Chrome and Google as the default browser and search engine on all Android devices and not offering users the option to select any other browser as the default one during setup. That original rule led Google to change the way it licenses its apps to OEMs. Now, Google is further making some changes to the way it handles the stock browser/search engine on Android.
It will now be offering customers in the EU the option to select the default browser and search engine on their Android device. It is unclear how Google will do this for existing users, though new users will likely get this option during the initial set up process of their new device.
The record $5 billion fine slapped by the EU on Google led to the latter charging Android OEMs for shipping their devices with Google’s mobile application suite. This suite does not include Chrome and Google Search, with OEMs free to ship their devices without these two apps.
Google already allows users to set any browser and search engine of their choice as the default app. This is possible on every Android device irrespective of its OEM. With this move though, Google is just highlighting the options that users have. Given Google’s dominance in the search field, the majority of users in the EU are going to stick to it despite other options being presented to them.