Europe introduces new regulations for e-commerce
Last week, when everyone was still immersed in the romance of Valentine’s Day, the European Commission released a message that the EU negotiators agreed to develop new European rules to improve the fairness of online platform trading behavior.
It is reported that the day before Valentine’s Day, Ouzhou·Conference, Ou·Min·Lee, and Ou·Min·Call·members will be created for the first time for enterprises and businesses to use online platforms. The rules of a fair, transparent and predictable business environment are achieved by the government, the government, and the association.
The following seven new rules apply not only to e-commerce platforms, but also to search engines↓
There are no more sudden, unexplained account freezes;
Pre-notification of understandable terms and changes;
Mandatory disclosure of a series of business practices;
All platforms must establish an internal complaint handling system to assist business users;
The platform must provide companies with more choices to resolve potential problems through intermediaries;
Business associations will be able to bring the platform to court and prevent any non-compliance.
What is the intention of introducing new rules in Europe?
The new rules will create a more predictable and transparent online trading environment and offer new possibilities for resolving disputes and complaints. Sellers selling online through e-commerce platforms, hotels using reservation platforms, or application developers will all benefit from the new regulations.
As part of the Digital Single Market strategy, the new regulations will apply to the entire online platform economy – around 7,000 online markets or e-commerce platforms operating in the EU, including the world’s giants and small start-ups. In addition, certain terms will apply to search engines, especially those regarding ranking transparency.
Andrus Ansip, vice president of digital single market, said: “Today’s agreement marks an important milestone in the digital single market, which will benefit millions of European companies that rely on digital platforms to reach customers. Our goal is to ban some of the most unfair practices. , establish a benchmark for transparency while maintaining the huge advantages of online platforms for consumers and businesses.
Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Markets, Industry, Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises, said: “Our new rules are designed specifically for millions of SMEs because they constitute the economic backbone of the EU. When there is a dispute with the big platform Many of them don’t have the ability to bargain, but with these new rules, they have a new network of security, no longer worry about being kicked out of the platform, and no longer worry about opaque search results.”
Mariya Gabriel, a member of the digital economy and society, added: “These are the first such rules in the world that strike the right balance between stimulating innovation and protecting European values. They will improve the relationship between business and the platform. To make it more fair and transparent, and ultimately bring huge advantages to consumers. We will pay close attention to the development of this field, especially through our Online Platform Observatory.”
According to a Eurobarometer survey, nearly half (42%) of EU SMEs say they use e-commerce platforms to sell products and services. An impact assessment conducted by the European Commission prior to the proposal showed that nearly 50% of European companies operating on the platform encountered problems, about 38% of contractual issues remained unresolved, and 26% of contractual issues were resolved, but still Difficulties, resulting in a direct loss of sales of about 127-235 million euros.
The benefits that small businesses can enjoy right away
1. A ban on certain unfair practices
There are no more sudden, unexplained account freezes. Under the new regulations, the digital platform cannot suspend or terminate the seller’s account without clear reasons and the possibility of appeal. If the suspension is wrong, the platform must also restore the seller’s account.
Pre-notification of understandable terms and changes. Terms and conditions must be readily available and available in an easy-to-understand language. When changing these terms and conditions, you must notify your business at least 15 days in advance to adapt your business to these changes. If the change requires complex adjustments, a longer notice period is applied.
2, improve the transparency of the online platform
Transparent ranking. E-commerce platforms and search engines need to disclose the main parameters they use to rank goods and services on their websites to help sellers understand how to optimize their presence. These rules are designed to help sellers and not allow cheating in the ranking system.
A mandatory disclosure of a series of business practices. Some e-commerce platforms not only provide a sales platform for third sellers, but also sellers on the same platform. According to the new transparent rules, the platform must thoroughly disclose any advantages they may have for their products. They must also disclose what data they collect and how they are used—especially how they share it with other business partners. If it is personal data, it must comply with the rules of “GDPR”.
3, a new way to resolve disputes
Today, when problems arise, sellers are often at a loss to appeal or resolve complaints, and as new rules emerge, all of this will change.
All platforms must establish an internal complaint handling system to assist business users. Only platforms that are minimal in terms of total number of people or turnover will be exempt from this obligation.
The platform must provide companies with more choices to resolve potential problems through intermediation. This will help solve more problems out of court and save time and money for the business.
Business associations will be able to bring the platform to court and prevent any non-compliance. This will help overcome fear of retaliation and reduce litigation costs for individual businesses without complying with new rules. In addition, member states can appoint political and government bureaus with executive powers, and if they wish, companies can turn to these authorities.
The new rules will be implemented 12 months after adoption and publication and will be reviewed within the next 18 months to ensure they are in sync with the rapidly growing market. In addition, the EU has set up a dedicated online platform observatory to monitor the evolution of the market and the effective implementation of the rules.
For search engines, the focus is on the transparency of the rankings. Foreign media pointed out that in this regard, the dominant search engine Google has been criticized in Europe by many competitors (not all competitors are Europeans).
These new rules may take a while to work, but the impact in the real world — and the possible rebound — may soon show up…