Short Reads

European Commission proposes draft Regulation on online platforms and search engines

European Commission proposes draft Regulation on online platforms and

European Commission proposes draft Regulation on online platforms and search engines

01.05.2018 EU law

On 26 April 2018, the European Commission proposed a draft EU Regulation on key aspects of the contractual relationship between online platforms and their business users. The aim of the proposed Regulation is to create a fair and transparent business environment for smaller businesses and traders that use online search engines and online platforms to reach consumers. The proposed Regulation would be the first EU legislation to specifically address business-to-business relationships of this kind.

The proposal concerns three topics: (i) increasing transparency by online intermediaries for the benefit of business users; (ii) encouraging non-judicial dispute resolution between online intermediaries and their business users and (iii) several mechanisms to monitor the effects of the new rules. The broad definition of "online intermediation services" means that the proposed new rules would apply to online platforms and search engines that offer services to business users established in the EU if those business users offer goods or services to consumers in the EU.

The proposal would require online intermediaries to put in place terms and conditions which are easily accessible to business users and which set out objective grounds for termination of services. For example, online intermediaries would need to provide information on (i) the data generated through their services; (ii) the use of most-favoured-nation clauses and (iii) the general criteria used for ranking search results, including a description where ranking is influenced by giving direct or indirect remuneration. Online intermediaries would also need to establish an internal system for handling complaints by business users. If a complaint cannot be resolved by means of the internal complaint-handling system, the online intermediary is obliged to engage in mediation in good faith with the business user.

The Commission's proposal is just the first step in the EU legislative process. The proposal will now be sent to the European Parliament and Member States where amendments to the proposal can be adopted.

This article was published in the Competition Law Newsletter of May 2018. Other articles in this newsletter:

  1. European Court of Justice provides guidance on assessing discriminatory pricing
  2. Germany did not err in extraditing an Italian citizen to the US for a competition law infringement
  3. European Commission imposes record fine on Altice for premature implementation of PT Portugal acquisition
  4. District Court of Amsterdam rules on requests for pre-procedural hearings
  5. Rotterdam District Court quashes cartel fines imposed by the ACM on cold storage operators

Team

Related news

11.01.2022 EU law
2022: the big reveal of 2021’s competition law promises

Short Reads - 2021 was riddled with sneak previews of a “review of competition policy tools with unprecedented scope and ambition”. These sneak previews, alongside 2021’s other competition law developments, seem to point in the direction of a more ‘social’ side to competition law in 2022, as well as looming Big Tech and Big Pharma battles, intensified (international) cooperation, more clarity on merger-related obligations for companies, and shiny new vertical and horizontal block exemption regulations. 2022 will reveal how and when the revised tools will materialise.

Read more

13.12.2021 BE law
Een onrechtmatig verkregen klantenlijst mag niet worden gebruikt om klanten van een concurrent af te werven

Articles - Het Hof van beroep te Gent(1) oordeelde dat het actief benaderen van klanten van een concurrent, door gebruik te maken van een onrechtmatig verkregen klantenlijst, onrechtmatige afwerving is en de bedrijfsgeheimen schendt. Het bevel tot staking van deze oneerlijke marktpraktijk strekt zich enkel uit tot de klanten die nog niet afgeworven zijn en moet beperkt zijn in de tijd.

Read more

13.12.2021 BE law
Publicité comparative des prix : prétendre faussement d’avoir le prix le plus bas est une pratique commerciale déloyale, mais être un concurrent et parler négativement de cette pratique à des tiers l'est aussi

Articles - Le Président du tribunal de commerce d'Anvers(1) a ordonné la cessation d'une publicité comparative illicite suggérant que l'entreprise offre un prix globalement plus avantageux, tant par rapport au marché dans son ensemble que par rapport à un concurrent spécifique. La critique par le concurrent de cette pratique publicitaire à l'égard d'un fournisseur commun est considérée comme du badinage et a également dû être abandonnée.

Read more