Google defended itself against accusations it attempted to silence rivals by requiring them to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before bidding for spots on a new Android choice screen covering search engines.
Last week, Google announced it would auction slots on the forthcoming set-up screen, which will allow Android users in the European Union (EU) to select their default search provider.
Bloomberg reported the company gave interested parties until 13 August to sign an NDA, which prohibits the disclosure of confidential information for a period of five years.
However, rivals, including France-based search engine Qwant, balked at the requirement, casting it as an effort to stifle complaints from competitors.
In a statement to the news outlet, Google countered it is commonplace for participants to sign an NDA before taking part in an auction. It added the move is not meant to block participants from answering regulatory queries about the process.
Google’s decision to allow rivals to compete for spots on Android’s set-up screen comes as tries to avoid further sanctions from the European Commission (EC), which fined the company €4.3 billion after determining its practice of forcing manufacturers to preload its apps was illegal.
The EC said it plans to keep a close eye on the proceeding.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back