DuckDuckGo is the clear winner of Google's first Android search provider auction

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 9, 2020
Google Android, Search

Google announced plans in 2019 to auction off three of the four positions of a new search provider selection screen on Android devices that are set up for the first time from March 1, 2020 on.

The decision followed a ruling by the European Union and a fine of 4.3 billion Euro caused by anti-competitive practices by Google in regards to the company's search service, Chrome web browser, and Android operating system.

Google revealed that it would auction off three of the four places of a search provider selection list -- the fourth place reserved for the company's own search engine -- that it would display to Android users from the European Union,

Unlike Microsoft's forced Browser Ballot screen, which the company had to display to users from the European Union when Internet Explorer reigned supreme, Google selected an auction system instead of a system that would pick providers randomly from a list of options.

choose-search provider google android

To make matters even more complicated, Google decided to auction off search provider slots for each member state individually.

CEOs of search companies were not happy about that and some companies, Ecosia being one, decided to boycott the auction entirely. Google plans to run auctions every four months and present the search providers that pay the most money per user as a choice in the country.

The first list of companies has been released (published by the Verge) and it is full of surprises. If you check out the list, you will notice that DuckDuckGo has won a slot in each of the member states. Microsoft's Bing search engine, likely to the surprise of many, got a single search provider slot in the United Kingdom.

Next to DuckDuckGo, it is Info ( that comes second followed by Yandex, Qwant and PrivacyWall. Other search providers include GMX and Seznam who bid high enough to be listed in select countries.

Austria: DuckDuckGo, GMX,
Belgium: DuckDuckGo,, Qwant
Bulgaria: DuckDuckGo,, PrivacyWall
Croatia: DuckDuckGo,, PrivacyWall
Czech Republic: DuckDuckGo,, Seznam
Denmark: DuckDuckGo, Givero,
Estonia: DuckDuckGo,, Yandex
Finland: DuckDuckGo,, Yandex
France: DuckDuckGo,, Qwant
Germany: DuckDuckGo, GMX,
Greece: DuckDuckGo,, Qwant
Hungary: DuckDuckGo,, PrivacyWall
Iceland: DuckDuckGo,, PrivacyWall
Ireland: DuckDuckGo,, PrivacyWall
Italy: DuckDuckGo,, Qwant
Latvia: DuckDuckGo,, Yandex
Liechtenstein: DuckDuckGo,, Qwant
Lithuania: DuckDuckGo,, Yandex
Luxembourg: DuckDuckGo,, Qwant
Malta: DuckDuckGo,, PrivacyWall
Netherlands: DuckDuckGo, GMX,
Norway: DuckDuckGo,, PrivacyWall
Poland: DuckDuckGo,, Yandex
Portugal: DuckDuckGo,, Qwant
Republic of Cyprus: DuckDuckGo,, PrivacyWall
Romania: DuckDuckGo,, PrivacyWall
Slovakia: DuckDuckGo,, Seznam
Slovenia: DuckDuckGo,, PrivacyWall
Spain: DuckDuckGo,, Qwant
Sweden: DuckDuckGo,, PrivacyWall
United Kingdom: Bing, DuckDuckGo,

The list may not reflect the popularity of search engines in a country as it shows the three search provides that bid the highest amount in the auction. It remains to be seen if EU officials are satisfied by the implementation or if Google will be asked to change the process

Android users may change the search engine at any time after the initial selection was made and may also install other browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Brave, Opera, or Vivaldi on the device.

Now you: what is your take on the system and search provider selection system?

DuckDuckGo is the clear winner of Google's first Android search provider auction
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DuckDuckGo is the clear winner of Google's first Android search provider auction
The first search providers that won Google's Android search provider selection screen auction have been revealed.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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