Google the brand everyone loves to hate in travel – now GDS group supports complaints
Now ETTSA (European Technology and Travel Services Association), the Brussels-based lobbying group which counts Travelport, Sabre, Amadeus and a number of large online travel agencies such as Ebookers, eDreams and Opodo as members, has joined calls for Google to be investigated.
ETTSA secretary general Christophe Klenner says the group is throwing its “full support” behind the decision by Expedia (another of its members) to file a complaint to the EC.
“This complaint highlights the risks to transparency, choice and fair competition posed by Google’s recent actions.”
Klenner argues that consumers expect Google search results to be neutral, “but this is not the case when the results favour Google’s own platforms, such as Flight Search”.
The GDSs are abiding by “strict neutrality principles” included in European Union legislation when displaying results for air-related queries.
Similar to Expedia and TripAdvisor, ETTSA wants the Commission to examine Google’s role and dominance of consumer search.
“This will protect consumers and the online travel market which is a vital contributor to the European economy and a growth engine for the future.”
Kevin May is a senior editor and one of the co-founders at Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology, a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism and will be publishing his first book - a biography about electronic band, Depeche Mode - soon.