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Parliamentary questions
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23 November 2018
Question for written answer P-005903-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Lucy Anderson (S&D)

 Subject:  Preventing anti-competitive practices on online business platforms
 Answer in writing 

Online platforms play an increasingly central role in Europe’s economy, and the Commission’s proposal for a regulation regarding the rights of business users of such platforms(1) is very welcome. Certain platform providers are exploiting their privileged position to hinder access to online services and limit consumer choice. This includes overriding consumers’ default settings, arbitrarily restricting communication between users and their customers, or imposing discriminatory fees. In the case of search engines, there is ample evidence that some players develop competitive products and artificially promote them in search results, to the detriment of corporate website users and others that are entirely dependent on such engines.

Considering all of the above:

Is the Commission planning additional measures to ensure fair treatment for platform business users and their customers?

Why does this proposed regulation opt largely for ‘softer’ measures rather than more mandatory rules building on general competition law principles, such as specific strict obligations and monitoring provisions regarding non-discrimination?

How will the Commission systematically address the issue of enforcement, in the light of the 2017 decision against Google for abuse of its dominance as a search engine as well as other relevant ongoing complaints and investigations?

(1)COM(2018) 0238.

Last updated: 27 November 2018Legal notice