Google under European pressure or why is the search engine changing?

15. 05. 2024 | Natalie Bezděková

Recently, the main Google search page has changed. At first glance, it may look like it’s back to the way it was, but it’s actually no longer possible to click through to Google Maps directly from the results.

This is not an accident, a mistake or a developer decision, but rather the result of new European laws that aim to ensure a fairer digital marketplace and protect consumers.

Not long ago, when you typed the name of a city into the search box on Google, for example, you got basic information, photos and a map preview, as usual. However, if you wanted to go to Google Maps, this was no longer possible directly. Instead, only a larger, semi-interactive preview was displayed. To actually get to the full map, you had to click the Route or Open in Maps button in the bottom left corner once more.

This change may seem like a logical design move on Google’s part, but users on social media have begun speculating that the change is related to new European legislation.

This legislation, known as the Digital Markets Act (DMA), aims to ensure fair competition between digital platforms and protect consumers. According to the DMA, large internet companies such as Google, Meta (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp), Apple or Amazon should not favour their own products at the expense of others.

The DMA talks about the so-called gatekeepers, which are companies with high turnover and user bases, such as Google. These companies have considerable market power and tend to abuse their position. The DMA is designed to prevent these firms from favouring their products and increase competition.

Under the DMA, there is a threat of a fine of up to ten percent of a company’s global turnover if it fails to comply with the rules. These new rules have the potential to change the way large internet firms like Google operate in the European Union.

So the changes to Google’s main search page are not just cosmetic. They are a response to new regulation that has profound implications for the digital market in the European Union.

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Author of this article

Natalie Bezděková

I am a student of Master's degree in Political Science. I am interested in marketing, especially copywriting and social media. I also focus on political and social events at home and abroad and technological innovations. My free time is filled with sports, reading and a passion for travel.


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