Policy Statement on Google Search & DMA Regulation

A potential framework to assess Google's compliance with the Digital Markets Act.

An expansive open web is good for consumers, good for businesses, and good for society. Historically, Google has contributed to the growth of the open web. In certain search verticals the percentage of traffic sent by Google to the open web may have reversed in recent years.

Google is a monopoly (gatekeeper) in online search and maps, with a market share exceeding 90% in online search. Governments should be able to regulate monopolies (gatekeepers).

The Digital Markets Act is a commendable attempt at regulation, particularly Articles 6(5), 6(10), and 6(11). Full, good-faith compliance from Google will make online search more contestable.

Local search (including hotels) and maps are among the largest, most frequently used search verticals. Suppliers, Aggregators, and SMEs deserve a level playing field in these verticals. No business type is more important than the other; each is a legitimate part of the open web.

Entity search results that display a gatekeeper's first-party data (e.g. merchant-submitted business information, user photos, user reviews, among others) should be considered vertical properties of the gatekeeper and subject to self-preferencing regulation.

Compliance should be defined by publicly-verifiable standards, within which Google and other gatekeepers can and should innovate. These standards should not mandate particular product design choices.