After years of S&D calls to ensure a balanced digital environment in the European Union, the European Parliament today approved new EU-wide rules to make online platforms such as Amazon, eBay or Skyscanner fairer and more transparent. Together with other recently completed initiatives, the EU is truly delivering a Digital Single Market for its citizens and businesses.
S&D MEP and European Parliament negotiator on the new rules, Christel Schaldemose MEP, said:
“Increasingly we are searching for deals and the lowest prices on platforms like Amazon, Google shopping or eBay. This has brought us lower prices but has also given these companies huge market shares and power over the businesses that trade on their platforms. This has often led to unfair trading practices and a lack of transparency, which can make or break a small business. It is essential that the rules governing the relationships between these platforms and their traders are fair and transparent.
“Today the European Parliament has again shown it is not afraid of taming the internet giants. The online platform economy offers many opportunities to traders and consumers, but we cannot allow the internet to be an unregulated ‘wild west.’ These new proposals will help small businesses and ultimately benefit consumers. Thanks to S&D efforts, we have ensured that this Regulation has a genuine bite to it. These rules will start to apply directly in the member states already next year, so our businesses will start to see the benefits of a fairer online economy very soon.”
S&D Group spokesperson for the internal market and consumer protection, Nicola Danti MEP, added:
“When booking a hotel, flights, or buying a new TV, you will likely start looking on Skyscanner, Booking.com, Amazon or another online platform. For companies this means that appearing near the top of the ranking for products and services is essential. However, too often platforms have not been clear on how they formulate these rankings. These new rules will change that and ensure that there is genuine transparency and more information for EU consumers.
“This is a significant step forward to protect the interests of small businesses in the digital age. We must now continue our work complete the digital single market to ensure there are fair rules for everyone and to boost European competitiveness in the global economy.”