New EU rules and guidance for a fairer online economy

e-store

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


The Commission publishes today a set of resources to help traders, online platforms and search engines get the most out of the new Platform to Business rules, which apply from this Sunday, 12 July. In addition, three progress reports prepared by the expert group for the Observatory on the Online Platform Economy are published for feedback. The reports will inform the broader work of the Commission on online platforms and in particular on the upcoming Digital Services Act package.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager said: “The more than 10,000 online platforms in the EU are only one part of a broader digital services ecosystem that drives innovation. Despite their role as an essential resource during the on-going health crisis, major issues of fairness and safety have to be addressed. The new rules will ban certain unfair practices such as unexplained account suspension, unclear terms and conditions; ensure greater transparency about ranking, level the playing field among online platforms and search engine and provide new possibilities for resolving disputes and complaints.

Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton said: “Trust is key when it comes to the online economy. Businesses are increasingly moving online – a trend that the coronavirus pandemic has reinforced. To ensure that we have a fair, transparent and predictable online environment, all operators need to adapt to the new rules we are implementing. They will strengthen trust in the online platform economy and make it strive for the benefit of all.”

The EU has adopted the first set of rules regulating the platform economy. As of this coming Sunday, businesses and traders selling online via marketplaces will know which criteria will determine their position in search results, hotels using booking platforms will have greater clarity and protection from unfair terms and conditions, app developers will have a chance to challenge decisions by app stores that wish to remove their content.

The Commission will also publish official guidelines on ranking in the coming weeks. These guidelines will help online platforms and search engines improve predictability and transparency to help businesses consider how best to increase and manage their online visibility.

Q&A on Platform to Business for small businesses and other online operators

The Commission has prepared a Q&A document that can serve as a checklist for online platforms and search engines, particularly smaller ones, when implementing the new requirements. It will help businesses get information on their new rights and the options available to resolve problems that may arise in their commercial relationships with online platforms. It also contains useful information for online intermediation services, search engines and representative organisations or associations. Furthermore, the Commission has produced a video to help online platforms and search engines assess whether the new rules apply to them.

Progress reports of the expert group for the observatory on the online platform economy

The Commission is closely following the developments in the online platform economy. The expert group for the Observatory for the Online Platform Economy has supported the Commission in this task by helping to monitor the market and the effective implementation of the new rules.

The three progress reports point to imbalances in market power in the relationship between online platforms and their business users in terms of both access to and the use of data, as well as to discrimination as a potential source of issues in the online platform economy. Stakeholders, including online platforms, the businesses relying on these online platforms, experts as well as enforcers are invited to provide feedback by 8 September.

Next steps

The progress reports will feed into the Commission’s current work priorities in the digital area as announced in the Commission’s Communication on Shaping Europe’s Digital Future as well as in its data strategy and provide input for the Digital Services Act package. Two more reports will be produced on online advertising and platforms with significant market power that will, alongside the present reports, feed into a final contribution by the expert group of the Observatory later this year.

Background

The Platform to Business Regulation entered into force in July 2019 and will apply from 12 July 2020. It sets the basic horizontal foundationfor a fair, transparent and predictable business environment for smaller businesses and traders relying on search engines and online platforms such as online marketplaces, app stores, certain price comparison tools or business pages on social media for their activities.

As part of the European Digital Strategy, the Commission has announced a Digital Services Act package that will further strengthen the Single Market for digital services and foster innovation and competitiveness of the European online environment. The Commission launched a wide-ranging public consultation in early June. It will close on 8 September.

The Commission has also set out general guidelines to online platforms and Member States for tackling illegal content online through a Communication in 2017 and a Recommendation in 2018. The Commission continues to lead targeted actions in coordinating the cooperation between online platforms, authorities and trusted organisations in areas such as combatting illegal hate speech online, or ensuring that products reaching European consumers in the single market are safe. In addition, sector-specific legislation has been adopted (in particular in the field of audiovisual and media services and copyright) or proposed (as regards terrorist content online).

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

How to fix our planet: the pioneers fighting to bring nature back

Illicit trade endangers the environment, the law and the SDGs. We need a global response

Latin America’s cities are ready to take off. But their infrastructure is failing them

Inside the battle to counteract the COVID-19 ‘infodemic’

EU Parliament: ECB accountable for not supporting real economy

The space internet race is dawning. Here’s what to expect

North Koreans trapped in ‘vicious cycle of deprivation, corruption, repression’ and endemic bribery: UN human rights office

‘Reasons to hope’ for sustainable peace in Central African Republic – UN Mission chief

Rare earths are the new battlefront in the US-China trade war. But what are they?

MEPs cap prices of calls within EU and approve emergency alert system

Refugee resettlement: ‘Tremendous gap’ persists between needs, and spaces on offer

IMF: Sorry Greece it was a mistake of 11% of your GDP

This Filipino journalist is fighting for press freedom in COVID-19 lockdown

The global response: Working together to help the world get better

Improving Italy’s capital market will boost growth opportunities for Italian companies and savers

UN chief condemns deadly attacks in Afghanistan

State aid: Commission approves €380 million German rescue aid to Condor

EU Trust Fund Bêkou for the Central African Republic extended until 2020

What are Asia Pacific countries getting right in the fight against cancer?

Malaysia can show the way towards a holistic model for human rights

UN condemns deadly attack one of its vehicles

Brain Drain remains a crucial and unresolved issue

Schengen: new rules for temporary checks at national borders

EU-China: Council authorises signature of the agreement on geographical indications

Informal meeting of heads of state or government, Sibiu, 09/05/2019

Europe’s poor investment in digital is threatening prosperity. Here’s what its start-ups need

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: mental health, conflict prevention, Ebola in Uganda, Sudan protests, child labour

Canada leading the way on women’s inclusion and empowerment, says OECD

Eurozone to enter the winter…

New rules make household appliances more sustainable

Hurricane Dorian: Bahamas death toll expected to rise as thousands remain missing

Parliament boosts efforts to improve its environmental performance

Why strive for Industry 4.0

JADE Generations Club: Connecting perspectives, changing Europe.

How ‘small’ is Europe in Big Data?

Greener economies and investment to reduce unemployment and increase global growth

5 factors driving the Chinese lawtech boom

Release of prize-winning Reuters journalists in Myanmar welcomed by UN

What the Amazon rain forest tells us about globalization

Eurozone governed by an obscure body and gray procedures

Pharmaceuticals in the environment: Commission defines actions to address risks and challenges

Libya stands at a ‘critical juncture’, UN mission head tells Security Council

To realise the full potential of AI, we must regulate it differently

This is how India can become the next Silicon Valley

‘Time is of the essence’ for refugees on Greek islands – UN agency

These fishing pioneers are making it easier to eat sustainable seafood

Joint EU-U.S. statement following the EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting

Sexuality and ageing: challenges of achieving sexual rights in people with HIV

The Indian case: health policies need to keep pace with public health literacy

What are the real targets of EU’s efforts to fight tax evasion?

Rising insecurity in Central Africa Republic threatens wider region, Security Council told

Bid to raise $5.5 billion for millions of Syrians and their host communities

ECB: Monetary policy decisions

Multilateralism’s ‘proven record of service’ is focus of first-ever International Day

External action: more funds for human rights, development and climate change

Safe drinking water, sanitation, are ‘basic human rights’: new UN Water Development report

‘Dire consequences’ for a million children in the Middle East, North Africa, as funding dwindles

What is the Coral Triangle?

Caravan of Mothers of Missing Migrants kick off a global migration search movement

Our idea of what makes a company successful needs to change. And it starts with making waste expensive

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s