As a result of new European Commission rules around the transparency of online platforms, Google already outlined planned improvements to its developer relations and communication about Play Store policy compliance. However, there are wider implications for Google, Amazon, Facebook, and others as the rules governing digital practices were approved on Wednesday.
Subject to European Council ratification, the new rules will enforce increased transparency that covers not just digital app stores, but also e-commerce market places, social media, and price comparison sites. This will mean more scrutiny over the way Google deals with online sellers who promote goods through Google Search. The same goes for platforms such as Bing, Amazon Marketplace, eBay, Instagram, and many more.
Internal systems will need to be set up to handle complaints from businesses, where they don't already exist, and this also paves the way for group legal action against certain platforms accused of unfair trading practices. It will also no longer be possible for Google or Amazon to change their terms and conditions without notice and they will have to be more transparent around the removal of any products. Perhaps most importantly for many sellers, parameters determining how goods are ranked will have to be clearly outlined, as will any data generated and how it's used.
The new regulations have been welcomed by the EDiMA — a group which includes Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and others — as a way of "reinforcing trust and predicability" in the digital single market.