Press release

Statement: EU forces Google to offer browser selection window on Android devices

Opportunity for truly independent providers or on the way to a US duopoly?

Thomas KonradCliqz 89 9250 1833

Munich, March 20, 2019:Google announced to offer users of mobile Android devices a selection of browsers and search engines:

Please find following a statement by Dr. Marc Al-Hames, Managing Director of Cliqz GmbH. The Munich-based developer of data protection-oriented search and browser technologies is a subsidiary of Hubert Burda Media and Mozilla.

We welcome the fact that Google is giving in to pressure from the EU antitrust authorities. Whether this really will lead to fair competition depends on how the selection of browsers and search engines will look like. The crucial question is whether data protection-friendly, European apps with independent business models, code bases, and search indexes, such as Cliqz, will be featured prominently or if vendors that either depend on Google or Microsoft will get a positioning advantage on the selection window. Otherwise, the monopoly will only become a US duopoly with a lot of Google and a little Microsoft.

When it comes to real competition, you need to look at the business models and the basic technology that works in the background (browser code base, default search engine, search index). Most “alternative” browsers distribute Google as the default search engine, because they are paid out of Google vast search ad revenue. Some use Microsoft Bing. And most use (or soon will use – Microsoft Edge) Google’s Chromium as a code base. This is problematic because Google can set the rules for Chromium browsers and could protect its advertising and data collection business from effective blocking technologies (such as the anti-tracking technology of Cliqz and its subsidiary Ghostery) at any time. Most “alternative” search engines depend either on Google’s or Microsoft’s/Bing’s search index and are monetized through Google or Bing advertising. There are only very few truly independent providers. One of them is Cliqz.

About Cliqz
The mission of Cliqz is to redesign the user interface of the internet by merging browser and search. More than 100 experts from approx. 30 countries develop innovative open source software with the aim of getting users to their destination as directly as possible while protecting their privacy. Cliqz GmbH was founded in 2008 by Jean-Paul Schmetz. Since May 2013, the company with headquarters in Munich has been a majority holding of Hubert Burda Media, and in August 2016 Mozilla acquired a strategic minority holding. In February 2017 Cliqz acquired Ghostery, the global anti-tracking software market leader. More at

Press contact:

Thomas KonradCliqz +49 89 9250 1833