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How changes in Google Search may be a ‘problem’ for airlines, hotels and retailers in Europe – Times of India

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Lobbying groups representing airlines, hotels and retailers in Europe are worried about the changes that Google is expected to bring forward to its Search platform to comply with the European Union’s (EU) latest tech rules.
According to a report by the news agency Reuters, these groups have urged tech regulators of the EU to ensure that the US-based search giant takes their views into account and not just large intermediaries while making the changes in its Search platform.
In March, the Airlines for Europe group which includes Air France KLM and British Airways owner IAG as well as hotel group Hotrec, European Hotel Forum, EuroCommerce, Ecommerce Europe and Independent Retail Europe as members, has expressed their concerns about the impact of the new rules that Google may announce to comply with EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA).This new regulation imposes a list of dos and don’ts on Google and five other tech giants to give users more choices and rivals a better chance to compete. However, the groups are concerned that these changes may hurt their revenues.

What Airlines for Europe said to the EU

In a joint letter to EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager and EU industry chief Thierry Breton (seen by Reuters), the Airlines for Europe group shared that their worries have increased since the announcement.
The group wrote: “Our industries have serious concerns that currently considered solutions and requirements for implementing the DMA could further increase discrimination. 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. 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.”
In March, a Google blog post said changes to search results give large intermediaries and aggregators more traffic and less for hotels, airlines, merchants and restaurants. Currently, the European Commission is investigating Google for possible DMA breaches.

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