This article posted to Web In Travel by Triptease Team makes the point that along with Comparison Shopping - already hit with a 2.42B euro fine by the EC - Google's Hotel Ads product may also have a target on its back.
- Hotel Ads make Google a lot of money.
- Being integrated with Google search results, Maps and Trips, Hotel Ads is a major player in hotel metasearch, with traffic outpacing that of TripAdvisor.
- Google often presents TripAdvisor results below Google+ reviews, of which there are comparatively many fewer.
- The metasearch feature of Hotel Ads is cannibalizing traffic that previously went to Google organic search returns, causing hoteliers to pay to be listed in Hotel Ads.
However: because hotels' own Web sites seldom appear above AdWords ads placed by Booking.com and Expedia, Google's My Business and metasearch products are helpful to hoteliers trying to compete with OTAs for bookings.
EC Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has said that the fundamental problem she has with Google is that “it has denied European consumers the benefits of competition, genuine choice and innovation.”
Sources familiar with the EC's case against Google have indicated that the ultimate objective of the antitrust actions may be to impose fines of up to 10% of Google's global revenues, which would mean fines totaling around $9B.