Google is widely expected to be entrust a third antitrust fine in Europe this week, with reports showing the European Commission’s decision in its long-running investigation of AdSense could land later today.

Right on cue the search whale has PRed another Android make nip — which it greenbacks as” reinforcing alternative and challenger in Europe “.

In the next month Google says it will start stimulating consumers of existing and new Android devices in Europe to ask which browser and probe apps they would like to use.

This follows licensing changes for Android in Europe which Google foretold last tumble, following the Commission’s $ 5BN antitrust penalty for anti-competitive behavior related to how it operates the dominant smartphone OS.

tl ;d r rival regulation can shift program and product.

Albeit, the barbarian will be in the detail of Google’s self-imposed’ alleviate’ for Android browser and pursuit apps.

Which symbolizes how exactly the user is induced will be key — leaved tech monsters are well-versed in the manipulative artworks of dark blueprint design, allowing them to start’ consent’ floods that deliver their desired outcome.

A’ hand-picked’ designed in such a way — based on word, button/ text size and pigment, timing of prompt and so on — to promote Google’s preferred browser and inquiry app select by subtly fostering Android consumers to stick with its default apps may not actually end up being much of a’ choice’.

According to Reuters the cause will surface to Android consumers via the Play Store.( Though the copy of Google’s blog post we read did not include that item .)

Using the Play Store for the prompt would require an Android device to have Google’s app store pre-loaded — and licensing nips made to the OS in Europe last year were supposedly intended to enable OEMs to choose to unbundle Google apps from Android forks. Ergo manufacturing only the Play Store the roadway for facilitating option would be rather antithesi.( As well as spotlighting Google’s continued grip on Android .)

Add to that Google has the advantage of massive firebrand dominance here, thanks to its kingpin position in pursuit, browsers and smartphone platforms.

So again the interests of consumers decision is weighted in its spare. Or, to put it another way:’ This is Google; it can afford to offer a’ choice’.’

In its blog postgetting out ahead of the Commission’s looming AdSense ruling, Google’s SVP of global affairs, Kent Walker, writes that the company has been” listening carefully to the feedback we’re get” vis-a-vis competition.

Though the search giant is actually requesting both antitrust decisions.( The other has become a $2.7 BN fine it got slapped with two years ago for promoting its own shop analogy services and demoting antagonists ‘.)

” After the Commission’s July 2018 decision, we changed the licensing model for the Google apps we construct for consume on Android phones, generating new, separate licenses for Google Play, the Google Chrome browser, and for Google Search ,” Walker continues.” In doing so, we maintained the freedom of the media for telephone producers to install any alternative app alongside a Google app .”

Other opinions are available on those changes too.

Such as French pro-privacy Google search rival Qwant, which last year told ushow those licensing changes still make it essentially absurd for smartphone creators to profit off of devices that don’t broil in Google apps by default.( More recently Qwant’s founder condensed the situation to” it’s a joke “.)

Google still claimed to be obstructing rummage rivals on Android, despite Europe’s antitrust action

Qwant and the other European startup Jolla, which heads development of an Android alternative smartphone platform called Sailfish — and is also a competition complainant against Google in Europe — miss regulators to step in and do more.

The Commission has said it is closely monitoring changes made by Google to determine whether or not the company has complied with its orders to stop anti-competitive behavior.

So the jury is still out for purposes of determining whether any of its nips sum to compliance.( Google told you so but that’s as you’d expect — and surely doesn’t mean the Commission will agree .)

In its Android decision last-place time the Commission judged that Google’s practises injured rival and” farther innovation” in the wider mobile space, i.e. beyond Internet search — because it impeded other portable browsers from participating effectively with its pre-installed Chrome browser.

So browser choice is a key component here. And’ effective competition’ is the bar Google’s homebrew’ redress’ will have to meet.

Still, the company will be hoping its recent Android nips steer off further Commission antitrust action. Or at least render more fuzz and oil for its long-game law appeal.

Current EU competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, has flagged for years that the discord is also fielding complaints about other Google products, including excursion exploration, idol rummage and planneds. Which hints Google could face fresh antitrust investigations in future, even as the last of the first batch is about to wrap up.

The FT reports that Android users in the European economic neighborhood last week started reading links to rival websites emerging above Google’s answer box for sought for concoctions, occupations or businesses — with the rival links seeming above paid upshots links to Google’s own services.

The newspaper emphasizes the fact that nips is similar to a change are supported by Google in 2013, when it was trying to resolve EU antitrust concerns for the purposes of the prior commissioner, Joaquin Almunia.

However challengers at the time deplored the tweak was insufficient. The Commission subsequently concurred — and under Vestager’s tenure went on to punched Google with antitrust fines.

Walker doesn’t mention these any of additional antitrust grievances swirling around Google’s business in Europe, choosing to focus on highlighting changes it’s made in response to the two extant Commission antitrust rulings.

” After the Commission’s July 2018 decision, we changed the licensing mannequin for the Google apps we build for utilization on Android phones, organizing new, separate licenses for Google Play, the Google Chrome browser, and for Google Search. In doing so, we maintained the freedom for telephone makes to install any alternative app alongside a Google app ,” he writes.

Nor does he shape mention of a recent change Google quietly started to the directories of default search engine preferences in its Chrome browser — which expanded the “choice” he claims the company offers by surfacing more antagonists.( The biggest recipient of that tweak is privacy search competitor DuckDuckGo, which abruptly got added to the Chrome search engine lists in around 60 markets. Qwant too got added as a default value option in France .)

Talking about Android precisely Walker instead takes a insidious incidental swipe at iOS creator Apple — which now notes itself the target of competition complaints concerning Europe, via music streaming competitive Spotify, and is potentially facing a Commission examination of its own( albeit, iOS’ marketshare in Europe is insignificant vs Android ). So top deflecting Google.

” On Android phones, you’ve always been able to install any search engine or browser you miss, irrespective of what came pre-installed on the phone when you bought it. In knowledge, a normal Android phone user is typically install around 50 additional apps on their phone ,” Walker writes, drawing attention to the fact that Apple does not offer iOS useds as much of a literal selection as Google does.

” Now we’ll too do more to ensure that Android phone proprietors know about the wide alternative of browsers and search engines available to download to their phones ,” he adds, saying:” This become involved in questioning customers of existing and new Android devices in Europe which browser and hunting apps they would like to use .”

We’ve reached out to Commission for comment, and to Google with questions about the specific characteristics of its incoming browser and probe app reminders for Android users in Europe and will update this report with any response.

Read more: