Google will, from now on, inform consumers better and more comprehensively about their purchases via Google Store, Google Play Store, Google Hotels or Google Flights. Google will do so following a joint action by European regulators, led by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) and the Belgian Competition Authority, in cooperation with the European Commission. This information allows consumers to be better and more fully informed before deciding to make a purchase or use a service.
Edwin van Houten, Director of ACM’s Consumer Department, explains: “It is important for a company such as Google to take steps to inform consumers about its offerings better. Transparency is one of the ways of providing support to consumers before they make a purchase decision. Transparency among providers boosts consumer confidence in the online world.”
Approach involving European cooperation
This action was taken after several European regulators expressed the need for Google to improve on transparency. ACM, the Belgian Economic Inspection, and the European Commission then called on Google to improve on transparency. Google’s commitments therefore apply to the European Union as a whole.
What adjustments has Google made?
Google has made the following adjustments, including:
- Google will inform more clearly on final prices on Google Hotels and Google Flights by including more information on taxes and other additional costs.
- Google will limit its right to unilaterally cancel orders or change prices in Google Store.
- Google will make it easier for regulators to report illegal content to have it removed.
- Google Store and Google Play Store will make it easier for consumers to find out information about the trader. Telephone contact with the trader will also become easier as a result of the expansion of the ‘About Google Store’ page.
- Google Store will feature the option to make purchases using all EU payment methods.
- For the complete list of adjustments, please see the website of the European Commission .
Google needs to improve the application of geo-blocking rules. Google must enable consumers to download their apps anywhere within the EU. At the moment, that is often not possible.
The Digital Economy
More and more consumers buy online products and services. This has great benefits, but consumers do need to be protected from the risks of digitalization. The digital economy is thus also an important topic for ACM in 2023.