26 Apr 2018

Digital Europe calls for caution with EU approach to P2B relations

The European Commission has released its proposal for a Regulation ‘on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services and online search engines in the Digital Single Market’ (P2B). The Regulation introduces transparency requirements for platforms in its relationship with European business users. It further provides for mandatory complaint handling procedures as well as a new collective redress action for business users.

Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, Director-General of DIGITALEUROPE states:

“DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the Commission’s measured approach but urges EU legislators not tointroduce further regulatory requirements that would hinder innovation and ultimately hurtEuropean businesses and consumers.”

“Europe hosts thousands of platforms contributing to the growth of the economy. Only in FebruaryDIGITALEUROPE awarded three fast growing European SME platforms at the “Masters of Digital 2018”. We recognise that understanding the functioning of platforms is key to build trust with users. However, any disproportionate requirements, catering to individual interests, could undermine thisgrowth.”

DIGITALEUROPE cautions against horizontal regulation of highly diverse sectors and business models and sees a risk of hampering innovation in the internet economy. DIGITALEUROPE will work with EU legislators to ensure the Regulation remains proportionate and avoids negative side effects for European business users and consumers.

DIGITALEUROPE seeks to collaborate and support the proposed observatory and expert group to offer the expertise of its Members that include 38 national trade associations and represents 25,000 companies who are mostly small to medium sized businesses.

Online intermediation services and online search engines include thousands of European players creating a complex and diverse industry that is fiercely competitive as barriers for market entry are low. To remain competitive the platform industry needs to constantly improve and innovate its services to adapt to the needs of millions of businesses that use its services.

Platforms play a particularly important role as they facilitate cross-border transactions bridging geographic and language divides that would otherwise constitute major hurdles for European consumers as well as for small and medium-sized businesses, the backbone of the European economy. In fact, platforms have stepped in where regulation has failed to support businesses cross-border and thus constitute a key element in achieving a truly Digital Single Market.

Our members and national trade associations stand ready to discuss this topic with the co- legislators. We invite the European Commission, the Parliament and the Council of the EU to maintain an open dialogue with DIGITALEUROPE.

For more information please contact
Ray Pinto
Senior Director for Digital Transformation Policy
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