On April 17, 2019, the EU Parliament adopted the proposed EU Regulation on platform-to-business trading practices.
The text adopted by the European Parliament still has to be formally approved by the Council of the European Union. Once approved, the Regulation will enter into force 12 months after its publication in the Official Journal.
According to the online platforms factsheet, 1 million businesses are selling goods and services via online platforms. The Regulation aims at resolving the most common issues such as unclear policies on data access, changes made unilaterally by platforms, unilateral account termination, and lack of redress.
Among the most noteworthy provisions inserted in the approved Regulation, there are the followings:
- platforms will have to respect a reasonable notice period depending on the nature of the modification (minimum is 15 days);
- providers of online intermediation services will have to provide businesses with the reasons for restricting or suspending individual products/services;
- providers will have to publish general policies on what data generated through their services can be accessed, by whom and under what conditions;
- online platforms will have to set up internal complaint handling mechanisms (small enterprises with less than 50 staff members and generating ≤€10 million turnover will be exempted from this obligation);
- business users will have access to out-of-court dispute settlement through easily accessible external mediators (small enterprises with less than 50 staff members and generating <€10 million turnover will be exempted from this obligation);
- representative associations will be able to defend businesses in courts against possible infringements of the proposed rules by online platforms.
The EU also set up a dedicated Online Platform Observatory to monitor the evolution of the market and the effective implementation of the rules. The Observatory has already started its work and will advise the Commission on the need for further action.
The proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Regulation on platform-to-business trading practices is available at http://ec.europa.eu…
Press release: EU negotiators agree to set up new European rules to improve fairness of online platforms’ trading practices
Originally published on Technethics on May 2019