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A new EU Regulation imposing more transparency, fairness, predictability and trustfulness for online intermediation services and search engines has just been adopted with reference number (EU) 2019/1150.
Online intermediation services present an opportunity for businesses to expand their market scope and commercial prospects. They also profit consumers, who can better compare quality and prices, and have a wider choice of goods and services. However, they also raise challenges, particularly on the need to protect the interests of business users, who might find themselves more dependant. This is particularly true for medium- and small-size companies, for whom marketplaces and other intermediary aggregators play a major role in business.
The aim of the new Regulation is therefore to give businesses a more predictable relationship with online platforms and provide access to effective and swift means of redress. Platforms will have to go to extra lengths to ensure compliance, but this should encourage more businesses to trust them. Eventually this should benefit consumers and allow for a less fragmented digital single market.
This initiative forms part of the EU Digital Single Market Strategy, as one of the actions taken to tackle unfair contracts and trading practices in platform-to-business relations. Outgoing President Juncker in his 2017 State of the Union specifically pointed to a need to safeguard a fair, predictable, sustainable and trusted business environment in the online economy.