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Changes In Google’s Search Engine Could Leave Out Airlines, Hotels, And Retailers

Changes In Google’s Search Engine Could Leave Out Airlines, Hotels, And Retailers
Lobbying organisations that speak for airlines, lodging facilities, and stores have asked European Union tech authorities to make sure that Google considers their opinions as well as those of big middlemen when making modifications to conform with historic tech regulations.
Concerns over the proposed regulations were voiced in March by a number of organisations, including Independent Retail Europe, EuroCommerce, Ecommerce Europe, Hotel Group Hotrec, European Hotel Forum, and Airlines for Europe, which includes members Air France KLM and British Airways owner IAG.
In an effort to provide consumers more options and competitors a better opportunity to compete, Google and five other internet giants are subject to a list of dos and don'ts under the EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA). However, the organisations expressed fears that the changes may negatively impact their earnings.
In a joint letter dated May 22, EU Industry Chief Thierry Breton and EU Antitrust Chief Margrethe Vestager expressed their growing concerns.
"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 said.
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A request for comment from the Commission, which is now looking into Google for potential DMA violations, was not immediately answered.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment after claiming in a blog post from March that modifications to search results offer big middlemen and aggregators more traffic and less for lodging, travel, businesses, and eateries.
"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 acknowledgement of European businesses that also offer their services on Google," the groups said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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