Shorter Reads

New regulation supports businesses using online platforms to trade

On 12 July 2020, the P2B Regulation became applicable in the UK. The Regulation is aimed at online marketplaces and search engines and their dealings with the businesses that use their platforms, to encourage fairness and transparency.

 

2 minute read

Published 4 August 2020

Authors

Share

Key information

  • Specialisms
  • Business
  • Services
  • Commercial

On 12 July 2020, the P2B Regulation (Regulation 2019/1150 on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services) became applicable in the UK.

The Regulation is aimed at online marketplaces and search engines and their dealings with the businesses that use their platforms. The aim of the Regulation is to encourage platforms to deal with businesses in a transparent and fair manner. Further information is included below.

Who does the Regulation apply to?

The Regulation is intended to apply to platforms providing their services to businesses in the EU and those that offer goods or services to consumers in the EU in the following sectors:

  • online e-commerce marketplaces (e.g. Amazon Marketplace and eBay);
  • online software applications services (such as the App Store and Google Play);
  • online social media platforms (e.g. Instagram or Facebook); and
  • online search engines (such as Google or Bing).

Certain types of online businesses, like online retailers selling direct to consumers and AdTech are excluded from the Regulation.

Key provisions

The main changes that the Regulation has introduced are as follows:

(1) Transparent terms and conditions: all standard terms and conditions must be in plain and intelligible language, easily available and transparent. The terms and conditions can only be modified if announced in advance and will typically require 15 days’ notice to the business user. The terms and conditions must also include information on:

    • When the business user can terminate their relationship with the platform;
    • When the platform can suspend, restrict or terminate a business user’s use of their service;
    • How a business user can access their personal data or other data generated through their use of the platform;
    • Include any restrictions on products that can be sold by business users via the platform; and
    • The additional channels and potential affiliate programmes through which a business user’s products will be marketed by the platform.

(2) Controls on suspension and termination: Before terminating a business user, platforms must now:

    • Give the user a statement of reasons for that decision on a durable medium;
    • Provide at least 30 days’ prior warning (in most cases) of termination;
    • Preserve the business user’s data so that the account can be reinstated if the account is closed in error.

(3) Ranking: platforms must also provide business users with details of the main parameters used to rank search engine results and give a high-level overview of the operation of the search engine (but there is no obligation to provide its algorithm or other sensitive information). If a website is demoted or delisted from a platform’s search result as a result of a third party notification (such as an allegation of an infringement of IP rights), the website owner should be able to view the notification.

(4) Dispute resolution: the Regulation also requires platforms to offer business users a variety of methods to resolve disputes, including an internal complaints handling process and providing the option of mediation. Platforms must also follow certain transparency requirements in relation to disputes.

Does the Regulation affect me?

If you are an online platform trading with businesses, your terms and conditions may need to be amended to ensure compliance with the Regulation. You may also need to publish certain information on your website and in your terms and conditions, and update your complaints handling process. Collyer Bristow would be happy to discuss these matters with you.

If you are a business user operating via an online platform affected by the Regulation, we would be delighted to discuss the new rights and options available to you under the Regulation. We are also happy to advise you on the compliance of any platform(s) you use to trade.

Message us on WhatsApp

Related latest updates PREV NEXT

Related content

Arrow Back to Insights

Shorter Reads

New regulation supports businesses using online platforms to trade

On 12 July 2020, the P2B Regulation became applicable in the UK. The Regulation is aimed at online marketplaces and search engines and their dealings with the businesses that use their platforms, to encourage fairness and transparency.

 

Published 4 August 2020

Associated sectors / services

Authors

On 12 July 2020, the P2B Regulation (Regulation 2019/1150 on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services) became applicable in the UK.

The Regulation is aimed at online marketplaces and search engines and their dealings with the businesses that use their platforms. The aim of the Regulation is to encourage platforms to deal with businesses in a transparent and fair manner. Further information is included below.

Who does the Regulation apply to?

The Regulation is intended to apply to platforms providing their services to businesses in the EU and those that offer goods or services to consumers in the EU in the following sectors:

  • online e-commerce marketplaces (e.g. Amazon Marketplace and eBay);
  • online software applications services (such as the App Store and Google Play);
  • online social media platforms (e.g. Instagram or Facebook); and
  • online search engines (such as Google or Bing).

Certain types of online businesses, like online retailers selling direct to consumers and AdTech are excluded from the Regulation.

Key provisions

The main changes that the Regulation has introduced are as follows:

(1) Transparent terms and conditions: all standard terms and conditions must be in plain and intelligible language, easily available and transparent. The terms and conditions can only be modified if announced in advance and will typically require 15 days’ notice to the business user. The terms and conditions must also include information on:

    • When the business user can terminate their relationship with the platform;
    • When the platform can suspend, restrict or terminate a business user’s use of their service;
    • How a business user can access their personal data or other data generated through their use of the platform;
    • Include any restrictions on products that can be sold by business users via the platform; and
    • The additional channels and potential affiliate programmes through which a business user’s products will be marketed by the platform.

(2) Controls on suspension and termination: Before terminating a business user, platforms must now:

    • Give the user a statement of reasons for that decision on a durable medium;
    • Provide at least 30 days’ prior warning (in most cases) of termination;
    • Preserve the business user’s data so that the account can be reinstated if the account is closed in error.

(3) Ranking: platforms must also provide business users with details of the main parameters used to rank search engine results and give a high-level overview of the operation of the search engine (but there is no obligation to provide its algorithm or other sensitive information). If a website is demoted or delisted from a platform’s search result as a result of a third party notification (such as an allegation of an infringement of IP rights), the website owner should be able to view the notification.

(4) Dispute resolution: the Regulation also requires platforms to offer business users a variety of methods to resolve disputes, including an internal complaints handling process and providing the option of mediation. Platforms must also follow certain transparency requirements in relation to disputes.

Does the Regulation affect me?

If you are an online platform trading with businesses, your terms and conditions may need to be amended to ensure compliance with the Regulation. You may also need to publish certain information on your website and in your terms and conditions, and update your complaints handling process. Collyer Bristow would be happy to discuss these matters with you.

If you are a business user operating via an online platform affected by the Regulation, we would be delighted to discuss the new rights and options available to you under the Regulation. We are also happy to advise you on the compliance of any platform(s) you use to trade.

Associated sectors / services

Authors

Need some more information? Make an enquiry below.

    Subscribe

    Please add your details and your areas of interest below

    Specialist sectors:

    Legal services:

    Other information:

    Jurisdictions of interest to you (other than UK):

    Article contributors

    Enjoy reading our articles? why not subscribe to notifications so you’ll never miss one?

    Subscribe to our articles

    Message us on WhatsApp (calling not available)

    Please note that Collyer Bristow provides this service during office hours for general information and enquiries only and that no legal or other professional advice will be provided over the WhatsApp platform. Please also note that if you choose to use this platform your personal data is likely to be processed outside the UK and EEA, including in the US. Appropriate legal or other professional opinion should be taken before taking or omitting to take any action in respect of any specific problem. Collyer Bristow LLP accepts no liability for any loss or damage which may arise from reliance on information provided. All information will be deleted immediately upon completion of a conversation.

    I accept Close

    Close
    Scroll up
    ExpandNeed some help?Toggle

    Get in touch

    Get in touch using our form below.