Google Announces Major Changes to Comply With the DMA

April 17, 2024
Google Announces Major Changes to Comply With the DMA

In response to the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), Google has announced a series of forthcoming changes that are aimed at ensuring compliance with the regulatory framework. These changes reflect Google’s commitment to adapting its practices in line with evolving regulatory standards to maintain a fair and competitive digital ecosystem.

Google’s Upcoming Changes:

Search Results

Google has made more than 20 changes to its products in Search in the European Union recently. The changes include introducing dedicated units and chips to help users find comparison sites for things like flights, hotels, and shopping. Certain features, such as the Google Flights unit, have been removed from the search results page, which can affect how consumers in Europe discover businesses.

Choice Screens

Google plans to introduce more choice screens based on user research, testing, and industry feedback. These will be seen when setting up Android phones and will soon be incorporated into Chrome for desktop and iOS devices as well.

Additional Consents for Linking Google Services

Google is giving users in the EEA the option to decide if they want their data shared across various Google services through linking. Users may also see new consent banners that will prompt them to choose whether they wish to link their Google services.

To comply with the new rules, Google is enhancing its advertising products and tools to help advertisers clearly communicate and obtain consent for the data they collect. This aligns with its EU policy on obtaining consent from users.

External Offers Program

Google Play is helping app developers to direct users in the EEA to external websites from their apps, making it simpler to promote offers and share information. This change follows new DMA guidelines, making it easier for developers to connect users with external content. This can help developers to enhance user experiences between apps and external content.

Data and Analytics

Google is offering advertisers and publishers in the EEA additional campaign data beyond the pricing information already provided. This additional information will be shared in a way that prioritizes user privacy and protects commercially sensitive customer information.

Data Portability

Google is introducing the Data Portability API for developers in the EEA, to meet new obligations concerning data transfers to third-party apps or services. Following beta testing, this API aims to streamline the transfer of user data in accordance with the most recent regulations.

Concerns About These Compliance Measures

Google has assured businesses that it collaborated with the European Commission to strike a balance during the implementation of DMA compliance measures. However, the changes may impact businesses, particularly with adjustments to Google SERPs potentially leading to reduced traffic for direct suppliers such as hotels and restaurants.

Nevertheless, Google has emphasized that consistent interpretation and enforcement of regulations are crucial to prevent any one company from gaining unfair advantages over others and consumers in the future will heavily rely on the consistent interpretation and enforcement of these new regulations across all designated companies.

Why We Care

It is important to be aware of the changes made by Google as they can significantly affect your business’s online visibility, promotional strategies, competitive standing, and traffic. The implementation of new rules may have consequences for businesses who advertise in the EU, especially concerning adjustments to Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), which could potentially lead to a decrease in traffic for direct suppliers such as hotels and restaurants.