To comply with European consumer protection law, Google has made a commitment to the European Union to modify its services to provide more transparency to consumers.
Source : Kai Wenzel via Unsplash
The European Union continues its actions for the protection of consumers and mainly against “the lack of transparency and clear information intended for” them, we learn in a press release from the European Commission. Faced with this, Google “has made a commitment to make changes to several of its products and services”. This concerns, among other things, the Google Store and the Google Play Store, but also the Google Hotels and Google Flights platforms, in order to “ensure compliance with EU consumer protection rules”.
Google takes steps to comply with EU rules
The web giant says it agrees to limit price changes or cancellations and indicates that it has created an email address for consumer protection authorities, “so that they can report illegal content and request its rapid removal”.
On the side of Google Flights and Google Hotels, the services will explicitly mention if they buy directly from Google or if the latter is only an intermediary. In addition to this, advertisements for discounts will state the reference price while specifying “that the reviews are not verified on Google Hotels”. Finally, Google makes the same commitments as the other platforms on the presentation of information: price, availability, etc.
Finding a flight is even easier with Google Flights // Source: Google
As for the Play Store and the Google Store, consumers will be able to consult “clear pre-contractual information on delivery costs, the right of withdrawal and the availability of repair or replacement possibilities”. They will also be able to have more information about the developer of an application: company name, address, telephone number. Finally, customers will see better the possibility of using means of payment from any country of the Union and developers will know that they must make their applications usable in all member countries.
The European Union still has complaints to make against Google
These changes are the result of a dialogue started in 2021 via the consumer protection cooperation network, set up by “the Dutch consumer authority and the Directorate General of the Belgian Economic Inspectorate”, in connection with the European Commission. However, the institution still has things to reproach the big tech groups.
Source: Alexandre Lallemand via Unsplash
In the press release, we learn that “one of Google’s practices still does not comply with the regulations on geo-blocking”. The company “imposes technical limitations on the use of applications that would otherwise be accessible in the country where the user is temporarily staying”. Google counters that users can change their country of residence once a year. A response that does not satisfy this cooperation network, for whom “this modification may however lead to the loss of previously acquired content and the remaining credit, which is considered contrary to the regulations on geo-blocking”.
Google therefore remains in the sights of the European authority, but not only. A few days ago, the US Department of Justice filed a complaint against Google for violating competition law. He accuses the giant of being in a monopoly position in the online advertising market.
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