Google has agreed to provide clearer information to users browsing Google Store, Google Play Store, Google Hotels and Google Flights in Europe, the EU Commission announced in a press release. It will soon show whether it's acting as an intermediary or selling products directly, and better inform consumers about deliveries, returns and repairs and more. It's making the moves to comply with EU regulations following a dialogue with the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network (CPC) that started in 2021.
"EU consumers are entitled to clear, complete information so that they can make informed choices," said commissioner for justice Didier Reynders in a statement. "The commitments made by Google are a step forward in this direction."
Google Flights and Google Hotels will soon make clear to consumers whether they're selling directly or merely acting as an intermediary for other companies. They must also state what was used as a reference price for discounts, and clarify that Google Hotels reviews aren't verified. Finally, they must conform to the same transparency rules followed by other platforms like Expedia.com.
Meanwhile, Google Store and Google Play Store must provide "clear pre-contractual information" on delivery prices, right of withdrawal and repair or replacement options. They must also make it easy to find information on vendors including their legal name and address, along with "direct and effective" methods of contact, like live telephone agents.
Finally, it must show users how to provide different country versions of the Google Play Store to conform to EU geo-blocking regulations, while allowing them to use payment from any EU country. As it stands now, Google restricts changes to country of residence to once a year, which can cause users to lose content or any credit. The change is designed to let consumers "enjoy the same rights and access the same content, wherever they are in the EU." Neither Google nor the EU Commission have yet to say when the changes will go into effect.