Reality Check: Google Faces European DMA Deadline

Google explains another bundle of product changes ahead of Thursday's deadline for compliance with the European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA).

Some of the companies that have been designated to comply -- other than Google's parent company Alphabet -- include Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft. In total, 22 core platform services provided by those gatekeepers have been named.

On Tuesday, Google shared more details about the changes it will make to comply, following product testing the company announced earlier this year.



"We have now implemented more than 20 product changes, including the introduction of dedicated units and chips to help users find comparison sites in areas like flights, hotels and shopping," Oliver Bethell, director of competition at Google in Europe, wrote in a blog post. "We have removed some features from the search results page which help consumers find businesses, such as the Google Flights unit."

The changes made are the result took many months with support from engineers, researchers, product managers and product designers from across Google. Throughout this process, the company has worked with the European Commission, industry stakeholders and consumer associations.

Changes also point to additional browser and search choice screens that will serve-up to users of Android phones when they set up a device. It also will rollout to users of Chrome on desktop, as well as on iOS devices. The new choice screens will appear on or before March 6.

Additional consents for linking Google services were added. Google shares data across some of its products and services for certain purposes, including to help personalize content and ads, depending the user settings.

EEA users can visit settings in their Google Account and choose if they want to continue to share data across Google services by linking them. Users may also see new consent banners asking them whether they would like to link their Google services. Multiple upgrades have been made to its advertising products and tools to help advertisers communicate consent for data they collect, in accordance with EU end user consent policy.

Google has by far the most number of regulated platforms. The eight platforms include Google Search, Google Ads, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Play, Google Shopping, Chrome, and Android. Microsoft includes Windows PC and OS, along with LinkedIn. BytDance has the least with TikTok. 

The DMA also required Google to give consumers more information about advertisements. Additional information will be provided. The blog post doesn't specify what they will get, but it does explain the data will be shared in a way that protects user privacy and customers’ commercially-sensitive information 

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