Google, an Alphabet unit, has two months to improve how it presents search results for flights or hotels on the internet. It must also explain how it ranks them. Otherwise, it could face sanctions.
Antitrust enforcers around the globe have long been critical of the most popular internet search engine. In some cases, they have even brought down heavy fines.
Google Flights and Google Hotels are the latest complaints.
These final prices should include any fees or taxes that are calculated in advance. However, reference prices used for calculating promoted discounts should be easily identifiable. This was the joint statement of the EU executive and national consumer watchdogs led by the Dutch Agency and the Belgian Directorate General for Economic Inspection.
Search engines for holiday planning cannot lead to confusion among EU consumers. Didier Reynders, EU Justice Commissioner, stated that consumers should be able to make informed decisions and to trust the information provided to them.
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Google was also requested by the agencies to update its standard terms for its Google Store, as some cases indicated that traders had more rights than consumers.
If Google’s suggestions are not enough, the agencies will continue to discuss the matter with Google and may impose sanctions.
Google stated in a statement that it welcomes the dialogue and is working closely with consumer protection agencies as well as the European Commission to find ways to improve our user experience and increase transparency.