Online platforms are key enablers of digital trade. While offering great potential in terms of efficient access to (cross-border) markets, European businesses are currently unable to fully exploit the potential of the online platform economy due to a number of potentially harmful trading practices and a lack of effective redress mechanisms in the EU.

In order to address this, the EU has introduced new rules to provide businesses with a more transparent, fair and predictable online business environment, as well as an efficient system for seeking redress. The regulation recently adopted by the Council, the first of its kind in the world, attempts to improve relations between online platforms and businesses.

The main aim of the regulation is to establish a legal framework that guarantees transparent terms and conditions for business users of online platforms, as well as effective possibilities for redress when these terms and conditions are not respected.

The online platforms covered by the regulation include online market places, online software application stores and/or online social media, as well as online search engines, irrespective of their place of establishment, provided they serve business users that are established within the EU and that they offer goods or services to consumers who are also located within the EU.

For more information - Council of EU – Press release EU introduces transparency obligations for online platforms