EUROPE, (Washington Insider Magazine) – The European Union is pushing for clarity from Google about how the company processes flight and hotel searches.
The tech giant must explain why it ranks certain flights and hotels above others and provide more clarity about how it calculates prices, European Union regulators demanded Monday, accusing the company of having “misled” consumers.
The final prices that Google displays should include all fees and taxes that can be calculated in advance, regulators said in a statement.
“EU consumers cannot be misled when using search engines to plan their holidays,” EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said. “We need to empower consumers to make their choices based on transparent and unbiased information.”
The regulators are giving Google two months to propose a fix to the issues or face possible unspecified sanctions.
The move comes amid broader scrutiny of Google by EU authorities. The bloc has levied $9.8 billion in fines against the company since 2017 over anti-competitive practices involving its search results and Android operating system — and is currently facing a reported EU probe into its lucrative ad business.
The EU push for clarity into Google’s travel search results is being led by the Netherlands and Belgium.
In a statement, Google said it plans to cooperate with the EU.
“We welcome this dialog and are working closely with consumer protection agencies and the European Commission to see how we can make improvements that will be good for our users and provide even more transparency,” the company said.