The EU's Digital Markets Act comes into force in March 2024. The law promises fair competition on the Internet and is intended to limit the market power of large corporations. Alternative search engines should be given more opportunities to compete with Google. The problem: Many people only know Google.

The Digital Markets Act (DMA) was passed by the EU Parliament on July 6, 2022. It officially came into force on November 1, 2022. Among other things, it is intended to ensure fair competition on the Internet and limit the market power of large tech companies.

For this purpose, the DMA appoints so-called gatekeepers. This refers to companies and online platforms that enjoy a competitive advantage or even a monopoly through their market power. The Digital Markets Act will in future oblige these companies to comply with certain rules within the EU in order to ensure fairer competition.

Alternative search engines: Digital Markets Act is intended to ensure more equal opportunities

In September 2023, the European Union named the first six gatekeepers under the Digital Market Act. In addition to Facebook parent company Meta and TikTok parent company ByteDance, these also include Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google parent company Alphabet. The EU has given the gatekeepers six months to implement the law – until March 7, 2024.

However, the EU and the European Commission have not only found these companies and their platforms to have competitive advantages due to their market power, but also repeatedly to engage in anti-competitive practices – this applies in particular to Google.

One of the EU's goals is therefore for the Digital Markets Act to help alternative search engines break through Google's monopoly to some extent in order to stimulate competition. For this reason, search engine giant Google Chrome will have to show Chrome users a selection screen in the future so they can choose an alternative search engine.

The same applies to Apple's Safari browser – especially on the iPhone. The reason: Google was previously the default search engine in most browsers. The competition therefore hardly had a chance. The DMA should change that. But there is another problem.

Because of Google's monopoly position with a market share of over 80 percent, most people hardly know any alternatives and would probably not consider them – selection screen or not. That's why we would like to introduce five alternative search engines that can not only keep up with Google, but are sometimes even better.

1. Ecosia: The search engine that plants trees

Ecosia is a search engine focused on planting trees and protecting the environment. Search ad revenue is used to fund reforestation projects and plant trees where they are needed.

Through their search queries, users can actively contribute to supporting sustainable projects to reduce environmental impact. Under the motto “A greener planet with every search,” Ecosia aims to combine search engines and environmental protection.

2. DuckDuckGo: Privacy, simplified

The search engine DuckDuckGo specializes in not collecting user data during searches. In contrast to other search engines, the company places particular emphasis on the issue of privacy and does not promise to create personalized search results.

DuckDuckGo is based on strict privacy policies to protect user anonymity and has a business model that does not rely on personalized ads. Under the motto “Are you tired of online tracking? We're fixing it,” the search engine allows its users to search the Internet without revealing personal information.

3. Bing: The AI ​​search engine

Bing belongs to Microsoft. The search engine allows users to search the Internet for information, images, videos and news like Google. Compared to other search engines, Bing places great emphasis on visual representations and, for example, offers daily changing background images on the homepage.

In addition to web search, the search engine offers additional services such as maps, translations and local business information. Since Microsoft has been cooperating with the AI ​​company OpenAI since the end of 2023, the Windows company has now also integrated the AI ​​chatbot ChatGPT into Bing.

This allows users to ask questions about certain topics. It is also possible to formulate questions via voice input via Bing and also receive spoken answers.

4. Startpage: The safest search engine in the world?

Startpage is a search engine that, like DuckDuckGo, focuses on data protection and wants to protect the privacy of its users. It enables anonymous searches because it does not store personal information or create user profiles.

However, Startpage uses Google search results to provide high quality results but does not store IP addresses. By combining search precision and privacy options, Startpage offers an alternative search solution for those who value privacy above all else.

5. Yahoo

Many people are probably familiar with Yahoo. Because the brand is still one of the largest internet services in the world. Before Google took over, Yahoo was considered the king of the Internet. In addition to its own search engine, the company primarily provides email services, news, weather and sports information as well as a website directory.

Yahoo is a diversified technology company that offers a variety of Internet services and content. Originally launched as a web directory and search engine, Yahoo has expanded over the years to include email, news, finance, and many other services.

However, Yahoo couldn't keep up with the competition when it came to web searches. The company first used the search technology of the then market leader Altavista, then that of Google. However, since 2004, Yahoo has resumed using its own search algorithms. At this point, however, they could no longer keep up with Google. However, the search engine still exists.

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