EU lobbying groups urge Google to consider their views in DMA compliance

Lobbying groups representing airlines, hotels, and retailers have urged European Union tech regulators to ensure that Google considers their perspectives, not just those of large intermediaries, when implementing changes to comply with landmark tech rules. The Airlines for Europe group, which includes Air France KLM and British Airways owner IAG, along with hotel group Hotrec, European Hotel Forum, EuroCommerce, Ecommerce Europe, and Independent Retail Europe, voiced their concerns in March about the potential impacts of the new rules.

The EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) sets out a list of dos and don’ts for Google and five other tech giants to increase user choice and enhance competition. However, these groups are worried that the necessary adjustments could harm their revenues. In a joint letter dated May 22 to EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager and EU industry chief Thierry Breton, they expressed escalating concerns.

“Our industries have serious concerns that currently considered solutions and requirements for implementing the DMA could further increase discrimination,” they wrote. They noted that the proposed changes might severely reduce direct sales revenues by favoring powerful online intermediaries through preferential treatment.

The European Commission, currently investigating Google for potential DMA violations, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Google, which stated in a March blog post that search result changes would benefit large intermediaries and aggregators at the expense of hotels, airlines, merchants, and restaurants, had no immediate comment.

“We are concerned that the non-compliance investigation refers only to the need to treat third-party services fairly and non-discriminatorily, without any acknowledgment of European businesses that also offer their services on Google,” the groups said.