27

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Fairness and transparency for business users of online services

12-04-2019

The European Parliament and the Council reached an agreement on the proposed regulation on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services in February 2019. Providers of online intermediation services (e.g. Amazon and eBay) and online search engines (e.g. Google search) will be required to implement a set of measures to ensure transparency and fairness in the contractual relations they have with online businesses (e.g. online retailers, hotels and restaurants ...

The European Parliament and the Council reached an agreement on the proposed regulation on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services in February 2019. Providers of online intermediation services (e.g. Amazon and eBay) and online search engines (e.g. Google search) will be required to implement a set of measures to ensure transparency and fairness in the contractual relations they have with online businesses (e.g. online retailers, hotels and restaurants businesses, app stores), which use such online platforms to sell and provide their services to customers in the EU. The regulation, which, inter alia, harmonises transparency rules applicable to contractual terms and conditions, ranking of goods and services and access to data, is considered to be the first regulatory attempt in the world to establish a fair, trusted and innovation-driven ecosystem in the online platform economy. Now that Member States' and Parliament's negotiators have endorsed the compromise text, the political agreement must be voted in plenary by the European Parliament and formally adopted by the Council to complete the legislative procedure.

Promoting fairness and transparency in the online platform environment

21-09-2018

How to promote fairness and transparency in the online platform environment? The Commission's answer to this question can be found in its recent legislative proposal. It stipulates that providers of online intermediation services (e.g. Amazon) and online search engines (e.g. Google search) have to implement certain measures to ensure transparency and fairness in the contractual relations they have with online businesses which use such platforms to provide their services to customers in the EU. This ...

How to promote fairness and transparency in the online platform environment? The Commission's answer to this question can be found in its recent legislative proposal. It stipulates that providers of online intermediation services (e.g. Amazon) and online search engines (e.g. Google search) have to implement certain measures to ensure transparency and fairness in the contractual relations they have with online businesses which use such platforms to provide their services to customers in the EU. This briefing provides you with an appraisal of the quality of the impact assessment, which accompanies the Commission's proposal.

Consumer sale of goods

12-03-2018

On 22 February 2018, the European Parliament's Committee for the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) adopted its report on the Commission proposal for a new directive on the consumer sale of goods. The Commission's original proposal, dating from 2015, was replaced on 31 October 2017 by an amended one which intends to replace the existing Consumer Sales Directive dating from 1999 entirely, instead of regulating only online and other distance contracts as had originally been planned. By ...

On 22 February 2018, the European Parliament's Committee for the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) adopted its report on the Commission proposal for a new directive on the consumer sale of goods. The Commission's original proposal, dating from 2015, was replaced on 31 October 2017 by an amended one which intends to replace the existing Consumer Sales Directive dating from 1999 entirely, instead of regulating only online and other distance contracts as had originally been planned. By contrast to the 1999 Consumer Sales Directive, the Commission's proposal would introduce a maximum-harmonisation approach, meaning that EU Member States could no longer introduce a higher level of consumer protection than set in the directive. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. To view previous versions of this briefing, please see: PE 599.286 (February 2017).

Contracts for supply of digital content

09-10-2017

The digital content directive was proposed by the European Commission as part of a legislative package, alongside the online sales directive, to facilitate the development of the internal market for such content. The Council agreed on a general approach on the proposal on 8 June 2017. This seeks to clarify the relationship between the proposed contract law rules and the personal data protection regime – an issue which has been hotly debated. Furthermore, it strengthens the position of consumers with ...

The digital content directive was proposed by the European Commission as part of a legislative package, alongside the online sales directive, to facilitate the development of the internal market for such content. The Council agreed on a general approach on the proposal on 8 June 2017. This seeks to clarify the relationship between the proposed contract law rules and the personal data protection regime – an issue which has been hotly debated. Furthermore, it strengthens the position of consumers with regard to conformity and remedies. As for the Parliament, a draft report was published in November 2016 by the two co-rapporteurs, who proposed to expand the directive's scope to include digital content supplied against data that consumers provide passively, while also strengthening the position of consumers as regards criteria of conformity. Objective criteria would become the default rule, with a possibility to depart from them only if the consumer's attention were explicitly drawn to the shortcomings of the digital content. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. To view previous editions of this briefing, please see: PE 599.310 (March 2017). "A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html"

Online Platforms: How to Adapt Regulatory Framework to the Digital Age?

08-09-2017

• Platforms, understood as a method of organising digital markets that allows two groups of users (suppliers and customers) to meet, are one of the pillars of the digital market. They facilitate its development, providing adequate solutions to the needs of the sharing, collaborative, data, and P2P economies. • Platforms that often operate as marketplaces have a triangle structure where users must first conclude a contract with the platform to be subsequently able to conclude contracts between themselves ...

• Platforms, understood as a method of organising digital markets that allows two groups of users (suppliers and customers) to meet, are one of the pillars of the digital market. They facilitate its development, providing adequate solutions to the needs of the sharing, collaborative, data, and P2P economies. • Platforms that often operate as marketplaces have a triangle structure where users must first conclude a contract with the platform to be subsequently able to conclude contracts between themselves. The status of platform user is very often difficult to define, as platforms allow a rapid development of the pursued activities, which pushes the users outside the realm of consumer. These two characteristics make platforms difficult to fit with the EU market and consumer regulations.

Autor externo

Dr. Aneta Wiewiórowska-Domagalskat

Online and other distance sales of goods

14-07-2017

This study was requested by the European Parliament’s Committee for Internal Market and Consumer Protection as part of the Parliament’s general commitment to improving the quality of EU legislation, and in particular in undertaking to carry out impact assessments of its own substantial amendments when it considers it appropriate and necessary for the legislative process. The aim of this ex-ante impact assessment is to evaluate two substantial amendments being proposed to the Commission proposal for ...

This study was requested by the European Parliament’s Committee for Internal Market and Consumer Protection as part of the Parliament’s general commitment to improving the quality of EU legislation, and in particular in undertaking to carry out impact assessments of its own substantial amendments when it considers it appropriate and necessary for the legislative process. The aim of this ex-ante impact assessment is to evaluate two substantial amendments being proposed to the Commission proposal for a directive on certain aspects concerning contracts for the online and other distance sales of goods. The amendments would extend the scope of the proposed directive to any sale contract concluded between the consumer and the seller, and would repeal the Consumer Sales Directive. The findings of the study indicate that the harmonisation of rules across Member States and sales channels would reduce the fragmentation of the legal framework and enhance the clarity and transparency of applicable rules to the benefit of both consumers and businesses. Most importantly, one single regime for online and face-to-face transactions could contribute to increased consumers’ and traders’ awareness and confidence in purchasing/selling online and offline, domestically and across borders. There would be a general increase in consumer protection throughout the EU, with the exception of some Member States where consumers’ rights would be weakened. This could, however, translate into increased costs for businesses in relation to remedies provided to consumers. The importance of having a single regime for online and offline sales has been strongly supported by all stakeholders consulted for this study. Nonetheless, consumer and business organisations have different views with regard to the aspects of consumer protection under examination. Finding a balance between the interests of consumers and businesses remains, thus, crucial.

Contracts for supply of digital content

01-03-2017

In November 2016 the co-rapporteurs delivered their draft report on the Commission's proposal for a directive on contracts for supply of digital content. They propose to expand the directive's scope to include digital content supplied against data that consumers provide passively, while also strengthening the position of consumers as regards criteria of conformity. Objective criteria would become the default rule, with a possibility to depart from them only if the consumer's attention were explicitly ...

In November 2016 the co-rapporteurs delivered their draft report on the Commission's proposal for a directive on contracts for supply of digital content. They propose to expand the directive's scope to include digital content supplied against data that consumers provide passively, while also strengthening the position of consumers as regards criteria of conformity. Objective criteria would become the default rule, with a possibility to depart from them only if the consumer's attention were explicitly drawn to the shortcomings of the digital content. The Digital Content Directive was proposed as part of a legislative package, alongside the Online Sales Directive. The Council has favoured a fast-track for the digital content proposal, while seeking to reflect for longer on the proposed Online Sales Directive. Nonetheless, the Commission is keen not to dismantle the legislative package, and likewise the Parliament has been working on the two texts in parallel, seeking to coordinate amendments to the two proposals. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. To view the previous edition of this briefing, please see: PE 581.980, April 2016. "A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html"

Contracts for online and other distance sales of goods

20-02-2017

The Commission proposal for a directive on contracts for online and other distance sales of goods, part of the digital single market strategy, would partly replace the existing Consumer Sales Directive. The Parliament's rapporteur believes this would create a fragmented legal framework, and that there is a need to introduce uniform rules for both online and face-to-face consumer sales. Unlike the existing Consumer Sales Directive, the proposed Online Sale of Goods Directive would provide for maximum ...

The Commission proposal for a directive on contracts for online and other distance sales of goods, part of the digital single market strategy, would partly replace the existing Consumer Sales Directive. The Parliament's rapporteur believes this would create a fragmented legal framework, and that there is a need to introduce uniform rules for both online and face-to-face consumer sales. Unlike the existing Consumer Sales Directive, the proposed Online Sale of Goods Directive would provide for maximum harmonisation, thereby prohibiting Member States from introducing a higher level of consumer protection within the scope of the directive. The rapporteur agrees with this approach and suggests moving to maximum harmonisation for both online and offline consumer sales. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. To view previous versions of this briefing, please see: PE 577.962, 15 February 2016.

Legal Perspective of the Regulatory Framework and Challenges for Franchising in the EU

30-09-2016

This paper considers how the regulatory environment of the European Union impacts upon franchising. It suggests that the failure of franchising to fulfil its full potential in the EU is due, at least in part, to the dysfunctionality of the EU’s regulatory environment. It concludes that in order to enable franchising to achieve its full potential it is necessary to re-engineer the EU’s regulatory environment, by way of a franchise focused European Legal Act , in respect of how it impacts upon franchising ...

This paper considers how the regulatory environment of the European Union impacts upon franchising. It suggests that the failure of franchising to fulfil its full potential in the EU is due, at least in part, to the dysfunctionality of the EU’s regulatory environment. It concludes that in order to enable franchising to achieve its full potential it is necessary to re-engineer the EU’s regulatory environment, by way of a franchise focused European Legal Act , in respect of how it impacts upon franchising and makes concrete proposals as to how this should be done.

Business Marketing Directive: Implementation Appraisal

01-10-2015

Although there has not been yet any specific legislative proposal to amend Directive 2006/114 concerning misleading and comparative advertising, the intention of the European Commission to simplify and consolidate this Directive may tackle some of the problems connected with the current legislation. Parliament repeatedly called for changes and further actions in this field, in particular with regard to prevention of misleading marketing practices and urging the EU Member States to enhance their mutual ...

Although there has not been yet any specific legislative proposal to amend Directive 2006/114 concerning misleading and comparative advertising, the intention of the European Commission to simplify and consolidate this Directive may tackle some of the problems connected with the current legislation. Parliament repeatedly called for changes and further actions in this field, in particular with regard to prevention of misleading marketing practices and urging the EU Member States to enhance their mutual and cross-border cooperation. In this context, Parliament also often expressed its worries about the current misleading marketing practice of misleading directory companies. Furthermore, Parliament pointed to various inconsistencies with regard to implementation and enforcement of the directive and called for its better implementation and better monitoring. The studies and reports suggested that a revision of the rules prohibiting certain marketing practices strengthening the enforcement of these rules in cross-border cases is needed. Such potential changes can have an impact on legal certainty and improve the prevention of misleading marketing practices. These inconsistencies and implementation and enforcement of the directive present challenges for the legislative proposal which the Commission intends to adopt by the end of 2015.

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