Google has announced a plan to allow rival search engines to compete to be a default search engine on new Android devices in Europe. Under the proposal, customers would have a choice of four default search engines, including Google, to choose from when setting up their phones.

The proposal follows the European Commission fining Google €4.3 billion for behaviour in relation to the Android operating system which constituted abuse of a dominant position. Google has launched an appeal against the European Commission’s decision.

The move to open up the Android platform to competing search engines is seen as an attempt to ward off further competition law fines in relation to the Android operating system. However, in a potentially controversial move, competing search engines will have to pay Google a fee to take advantage of the opportunity via an auction for the three remaining spots.