26 January 2023, Budapest - European consumer protection authorities have achieved that Google will provide clearer and more accurate information on its platforms. A few years ago, the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) also ordered the giant corporation to communicate more clearly and is currently under investigation against the undertaking for abuse of dominant position.
As a result of a dialogue with the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network (CPC) formed by the European Commission and national authorities, Google undertook to provide clearer information to users on its platforms. The aim of the changes is to enable consumers to make better informed decisions based on more complete information when using a service.
Following the discussions, Google has agreed to limit its unilateral changes to prices and cancellation options in orders, and to set up an email address where consumer protection authorities can report infringing content and request swift action.
As for Google Flights and Google Hotels, the undertaking has joined the transparency commitments of other major accommodation platforms. The interfaces will also make it clear who users enter into a contract with, what the original price was in the case of a discount, and whether the consumer reviews of services have been verified. The Google Store and Google Play Store will provide clear information on shipping costs, right of cancellation, repair, and replacement options, as well as information and contact options for the seller before a contract is concluded. The Google Play Store will show how users can switch between versions that are different from country to country, and the company will inform developers about "geo-blocking" prohibitions, i.e., the obligation to make their apps available in the same way across the EU, and non-discrimination of payment methods.
A few years ago, the Hungarian Competition Authority also imposed obligations on Google to provide consumers with lawful information in relation to the Allo chat client case, as a result of which the Californian undertaking clarified its communications in 44 languages worldwide. The GVH is currently investigating a suspected abuse of dominant position to conclude whether the giant corporation is favouring its own service in a manner that violates competition law by using a lyrics card for song titles in Google's search engine.
GVH Public Service and International Section
Bálint Horváth, Head of Communication +36 20 238 6939
Katalin Gondolovics, Spokesperson +36 30 603 1170