From 12th July, online platforms (e.g. e-commerce marketplaces and comparison websites) and search engines have a new set of fairness and transparency rules to follow when dealing with business users in the UK and EU. The rules come from the Online Platforms Regulation.

Many businesses rely upon such online intermediaries as the key channels through which they communicate with potential or actual customers, and so the new rules are designed to ensure that the platforms cannot suddenly or arbitrarily suspend or change the service they provide. 

Platform Ts & Cs for business users must also be clear and easily available, with a special focus upon:

  • How data can be accessed and shared
  • Whether some businesses may get different treatment
  • Notice period and duty to give reasons for account suspensions or terminations
  • Provision of complaints and mediation procedures

In addition, where goods or services of business users are ranked by search engines or online platforms, the new rules require that the businesses are given details of how the rankings are arrived at. They must also be told whether the rankings can be influenced by making payments, and whether the platform or search engine gives preferential treatment to its own goods/services or those of related companies.

For further details and suggested action points, follow the link below.