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Google Addresses Criticism Over Changes Imposed by EU Tech Rules

 |  March 20, 2024

In response to mounting criticism and concerns regarding alterations to its core services mandated by landmark EU tech regulations, Alphabet’s Google is poised to defend its position. The tech giant’s stance will be articulated by Oliver Bethell, a prominent figure leading Google’s EMEA competition team, during a workshop organized by the European Commission.

Bethell’s discourse, as per a document reviewed by Reuters, underscores the intricate trade-offs necessitated by Google to strike a balance between various interests amidst the implementation of the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

The DMA, which came into effect on March 7, enforces significant changes, including granting users the authority to remove Google pre-installed software or apps and requiring explicit user consent for data utilization across Google’s array of services or for personalized advertising. Moreover, Google is now prohibited from exhibiting favoritism towards its own services or products over competitors on its platform.

Read more: US Tech Giants Accept European Union’s ‘Gatekeeper’ Classification

Designed to curb the dominance of Big Tech firms, promote fair competition for smaller players, and augment user choice, the DMA designates companies like Google, which control access to their platforms, as gatekeepers. Despite the intentions behind the regulation, various sectors, ranging from comparison shopping sites to hospitality and travel industries, have expressed dissatisfaction, asserting that Google’s adjustments do not align with DMA guidelines.

Among the grievances raised, some competitors have lamented deteriorating search traffic results following the modifications. Bethell acknowledges the complexity of revamping Google’s search engine, emphasizing the imperative to navigate the new opportunities introduced by DMA while mitigating risks to user privacy and security.

Source: Reuters