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Industry Groups Urge EU to Consider Their Views in Google’s Compliance with Tech Rules

Lobbying groups representing airlines, hotels, and retailers have urged European Union tech regulators to ensure that Google considers their views, not just those of large intermediaries, when making changes to comply with landmark tech rules.

The Airlines for Europe group, including members such as Air France KLM and British Airways owner IAG, along with hotel groups Hotrec and European Hotel Forum, as well as EuroCommerce, Ecommerce Europe, and Independent Retail Europe, expressed concerns in March about the impact of the new rules.

The EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) imposes a list of dos and don’ts on Google and five other tech giants to give users more choice and rivals a better chance to compete. However, the groups fear that these adjustments could harm their revenues.

In a joint letter to EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager and EU industry chief Thierry Breton dated May 22, they expressed escalating worries.

“Our industries have serious concerns that currently considered solutions and requirements for implementing the DMA could further increase discrimination,” they wrote.

“Initial observations indicate that these changes risk severely depleting direct sales revenues of companies by giving more prominence to powerful online intermediaries due to the preferential treatment they would receive,” they stated.

The Commission, currently investigating Google for possible DMA breaches, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Google, in a March blog post, mentioned that changes to search results give large intermediaries and aggregators more traffic and less for hotels, airlines, merchants, and restaurants. However, they had no immediate comment on this matter.

“We are concerned that the non-compliance investigation refers only to the need to treat third-party services in a fair and non-discriminatory manner, without any acknowledgment of European businesses that also offer their services on Google,” the groups emphasized.

Source: Reuters

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