In Europe, next year, the “Act of Digital Markets” comes into force, which requires the companies recognized by “gatekeepers” to provide users of the most popular operating systems with browser selection screens, offering them to choose a default browser.
Among these “gatekeepers” – alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, Bytedance, META and Microsoft – the choice of browser is relevant for IOS operating systems from Apple, Android from Google and Windows from Microsoft.
Mozilla, the creator of the browser Firefox, on Thursday published report, which states that in order for the browser to choose the screens of choosing a browser, and not to manipulate it, the content and design of the selection screen should be adapted so that it contributes to competition and not favor a specific supplier.
“The basis of this study is the conclusion that the details of the design of the browser selection screens are crucial,” the Mozilla blog says. “Operating systems have the opportunity and incentive to direct people to their own products – this is not news. We found that even minor changes can affect the effectiveness of browser choice.”
In essence, this report is a warning that regulators should participate in the details of the websites and applications to avoid creating “dark” templates that direct users to a certain choice. The report confirms the arguments put forward in the Antimonopoly case against Google in the United States regarding the effect of default settings.
Mozilla research conducted a survey of 12,000 people in Germany, Poland, and Spain, who used either Android or Windows. Researchers came to five conclusions:
- The selection screens repel people from the main browsers and increase the share of independent browsers.
- Adding information about browsers reduces the share of the main browsers and increases satisfaction, while the procedure in which browsers are represented significantly affects the choice.
- Showcasing the selection screen when using the pre-installed browser forces more people to choose a default browser.
- The vast majority of respondents (98%) prefer to have a browser selection screen.
- Browser selection screens increase user satisfaction without a significant delay.
This is not surprising, but as noted in the Mozilla report, the selection