European Council – regulation on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services

The EU is introducing new rules which will provide businesses with a more transparent, fair and predictable online business environment, as well as an efficient system for seeking redress. On 14 June 2019 the Council adopted the regulation with an aim of addressing relations between online platforms and businesses.

The regulation establishes a legal framework that guarantees transparent terms and conditions for business users of online platforms, as well as effective possibilities for redress when these terms and conditions are not respected.

The online platforms that will be covered by the regulation include online market places, including labour platforms, online software application stores and/or online social media, as well as online search engines, irrespective of their place of establishment, provided they serve business users that are established within the EU and that they offer goods or services to consumers who are also located within the EU.

To improve transparency, platforms are required to:

  • use plain terms and conditions for the provision of their online intermediation services.; 
  • provide a statement of reasons each time they decide to restrict, suspend or terminate the use of their services by a business user.; 
  • disclose publicly the main parameters determining the ranking of business users in search results, as well as any differentiated treatment that they grant to goods and/or services offered directly by them or through any business falling under their remit.; 
  • disclose the description of the main economic, commercial or legal considerations for restricting the ability of business users to offer different conditions to consumers outside the platform.

 

Further reading: 

Metadata

  • Initiative
  • Arbitration, Legislation, Ratings, reputation system
  • EU 27
  • Government
  • Yes
  • no specific sector focus
  • information asymmetry
  • English
  • 2021
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