Lucas Riechert - Tuesday 7 February 2023

European Union forces apps on Google Play Store to be downloadable across the EU

Google is being forced by the European Union to make all apps in the Google Play Store downloadable across the EU. Currently, this is not the case because developers can provide apps with a so-called "geoblock". Google is also making other concessions on Flights and Hotels. Read more about this news here!

Pressure from regulators increases
Google's concessions came after pressure from regulators in the Netherlands and Belgium, among others. This began to increase more and more. For instance, the Dutch ACM and the Belgian FOD Economie joined forces to bring this about. Setting aside the fact that apps are now becoming available everywhere in Europe, it should also become easier to find contact details for developers and for Google. In addition, Google says they promise to be clearer on pages for Flights and Hotels. So Google has been taken to task considerably by multiple parties on transparency.

Google Flights and Hotels
Currently, on its Flights page, Google does not use the final price as the price when sorting, as it is the bare price without, for example, taking hand luggage or checked baggage. This can be confusing for consumers as they do not have an exact idea of the price. On Google's Hotels page, Google uses reviews that it has not verified, so the company cannot rule out whether they are fake reviews. So Google is now going to be more transparent about that. So these concessions come after complaints regulators had, but do not solve them altogether. For instance, regulators wanted Google to make geoblocking completely impossible, but instead the company is going to make it clearer how users can switch countries to install an app anyway.

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