Privacy-oriented Internet search engine DuckDuckGo welcomed the historic antitrust fine issued to Google by the European Union last week, claiming it's been feeling the effects of the Alphabet-owned company's monopolistic behavior "for many years" now. The $5.05 billion penalty was imposed on Google after the European Commission concluded the firm illegally abused the popularity of the Android operating system in order to promote its mobile apps at the expense of its competitors, something DuckDuckGo believes has been happening for years now.
In a recent series of tweets, DuckDuckGo described several examples of Google's monopolistic behavior, having pointed to the company's Google search widget as a clear violation of fair competition principles as the service doesn't support alternative search engines on the vast majority of Android implementations and was only recently even made removable, whereas users previously had to resort to third-party launchers if they wanted to get rid of it. Until last year, the Android version of Chrome didn't even allow setting up DuckDuckGo as its default search engine, whereas the iOS build of the app still prevents individuals from using it in conjunction with the privacy-focused search engine. Likewise, while Apple's Safari browser lists DuckDuckGo under its default search options, Google's Chrome doesn't, which the company believes is yet another example of its anti-competitive practices.
The Mountain View, California-based Internet juggernaut also acquired the rights to duck.com which it points back to google.com, with DuckDuckGo pointing to that state of affairs as more evidence that Google isn't competing in a fair manner, stating the company is only seeking to confuse users. Finally, every update to the DuckDuckGo Chrome extension generates a dialogue box that asks users whether they want to disable the extension and go back to using Google Search, something the smaller search engine believes proves the firm's antitrust transgressions span issues beyond the Android ecosystem. Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently argued that Android isn't a monopoly and confirmed the company will be appealing the EU's fine.