Consumers deserve a competitive search market where the search engines they want are actually “just one click away” wrote Duck Duck Go in a blogpost. A properly designed search preference menu can accomplish “one click away” search competition if search engines have an easy way to guide consumers to the menu.
Google adopted a so-called “choice screen” on Android in the EU region — which prompts device users to pick a default search engine from a selection of options (Google auctions slots to rivals).
But the choice is more of a one-shot than a dynamic, ongoing possibility to switch the default for Android users — as they are only asked to choose their default choice on set up of a new device or after a factory reset.
“That means, for all practical purposes, if you want to change your default device search engine again easily, you can’t,” writes DuckDuckGo in its latest blog post pushing for reform of Google’s self-serving Android ‘remedy’.
By DDG’s count it takes 15+ clicks (not one) to switch default search engine on an Android device at any other point (i.e. after initial set up or factory reset). And it says it knows “from experience” that this over-15-clicks method “trips up almost everyone”.
“In other words, one click competition becomes in fact ‘one factory reset away’,” it goes on. “The only reasons we can think of for setting up a preference menu this way are anti-competitive ones.”
The pro-privacy search engine has been banging the drum on this point for months at this point. Nor is it alone in complaining about Google’s remedy. And complaints aren’t limited to how hard it is to switch search engines at any other point after set-up, either.
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