Hotel and travel industry groups have expressed concern that Alphabet‘s Google, in its efforts to align with the European Union’s (EU) Digital Markets Act (DMA), may harm their online visibility and revenues. 

The DMA, which came into effect on 7 March, mandates a series of regulations that are aimed at opening up digital markets with actions to promote fair competition and consumer choice. 

Under the DMA, digital platforms can be designated as ‘gatekeepers’ if they offer a gateway between businesses and consumers in association with core platform services. Alphabet is one of these gatekeepers designated by the European Commission. 

Organisations representing the airline, hotel, and restaurant sectors are raising alarms over Google’s proposed adjustments to meet the requirements of the EU’s DMA.  

These changes, they argue, could inadvertently benefit larger online search services to the detriment of smaller industry players.  

Reuters said that hotel group Hotrec, European Hotel Forum, Eurocommerce, Ecommerce Europe, Airlines for Europe and Independent Retail Europe, have voiced their concerns following Google’s recent updates for app developers and users.  

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These groups suggest that the changes could lead to a significant loss of online traffic and revenue for companies, with some potentially seeing a decrease of up to 50%, people aware of the matter told the news agency. 

In a blog post on 5 March, the tech giant outlined that its modifications to search results could result in increased traffic for large intermediaries and aggregators while potentially reducing visibility for hotels, airlines, and other merchants. 

Another group, eu travel tech, which includes Amadeus,, Expedia, and Airbnb among its members, has also criticised Google.  

The group alleges that Google continues to favour its products in search results, contravening the DMA’s intention to eliminate such biases.  

In an open letter, eu travel tech said: “Google continues to favour its own services on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), undermining competition. In travel search, this includes the display of Google’s comparison products for Hotels, Flights, Things to do, Trains, and Vacation rentals with units that are more prominent, interactive and rich than any other search result.” 

Besides, eu travel tech has urged the European Commission to enforce the DMA rigorously if Google fails to meet the regulation’s standards.