Google: Android users get browser, search options in EU case

FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 5, 2018 file photo, a woman walks past the logo for Google at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai. Google says it will start giving European Union smartphone users a choice of browsers and search apps on its Android operating system. The changes are designed to comply with an EU antitrust ruling. The U.S. internet giant said Thursday, April 18, 2019 that following an Android update, users will be shown two new screens giving them the option install up to five search apps and five browsers. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

LONDON — Google said Thursday it will start giving European Union smartphone users a choice of browsers and search apps on its Android operating system, in changes designed to comply with an EU antitrust ruling.

Following an Android update, users will be shown two new screens giving them the new options, Google product management director Paul Gennai said in a blog post .

The EU's executive Commission slapped the Silicon Valley giant with a record 4.34 billion euro (then $5 billion) antitrust fine in July after finding that it abused the dominance of Android by forcing handset and tablet makers to install Google apps, reducing consumer choice.

The commission had ordered Google to come up with a remedy or face further fines. The company, which is appealing the ruling, said the changes are being rolled out over the next few weeks to both new and existing Android phones in Europe.

Android users who open the Google Play store after the update will be given the option to install up to five search apps and five browsers, Gennai said. Apps will be included based on their popularity and shown in random order. Users who choose a search app will also be asked if they want to change the default search engine in the phone's Chrome browser.

Android is the most widely used mobile operating system, beating even Apple's iOS.

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