By proposed regulation on online platforms, the European Commission is putting forward new rules for the online platforms providing small businesses with a safety net in the digital economy.
The Regulation covers online platform intermediaries and general online search engines that provide their services to businesses established in the EU and that offer goods or services to consumers located in the EU. A consumer may, for example, directly subscribe to an online service on a platform (e.g. download an app), she/he may be redirected to the website of an airline, or use a platform to locate a physical restaurant or shop in his/her proximity (e.g. by using Google's My Business).
Such online platform intermediaries include third-party e-commerce market places (e.g. Amazon Marketplace, eBay, Fnac Marketplace etc.), app stores (e.g. Google Play, Apple App Store, Microsoft Store etc.), social media for business (e.g. Facebook pages, Instagram used by makers/artists etc.) and price comparison tools (e.g. Skyscanner, Google Shopping etc.). Whereas online platform intermediaries are covered to the extent that they have a contractual relationship with both the businesses trading via them and the consumers using them, general online search engines are covered irrespective of whether they have a contractual relationship.
The proposal excludes online advertising and payment services that do not intermediate direct transactions between businesses and consumers, as well as intermediaries that operate between businesses only.
Q&A sheet with more details about the proposed regulation.
The Commission also proposed new company law rules applying to companies that merge, divide or move within the Single Market. The new rules focus also on employees' rights and tax abuse prevention.
26th October 2020
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24th November 2020