Google and Amazon will now have to say how they rank products in Europe

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Google and Amazon will now have to tell European companies how they classify the products on their platforms, in accordance with a regulation definitively adopted by the European Parliament this Wednesday, April 17, 2019.

This is the first time that a community text frames the business relationships between companies. Internet platforms (the two giants of technology, but also eBay, Airbnb, Skyscanner, etc …) and the companies whose products or services they market. The goal is to make the use of online assessments and personalized prices more transparent to consumers.

Companies that do not comply with the new rules are subject to a maximum fine of at least 4% of the seller’s annual turnover or a lump sum of two million euros, in cases where the information In their billing are not available . The text proposed in April 2018 by the European Commission requires that they include, in their general conditions, information on the classification criteria of their clients or their products, even when this classification is linked to remuneration. It is this same information that determines the operation of price comparisons and the online sites of hotel or restaurant reservations. Consumers will now have access to it, under a revision of a consumer protection directive also adopted by Parliament on Wednesday.

Here are the other main provisions of the text:

  • Consumers should know who actually sells the product or service (the merchant, the merchant’s site or a private person) and whether personalized prices have been used;
  • The platforms must detail the access that the Internet platform will or will not have to the personal data of the user companies and their clients online;
  • These online intermediaries, except for the “small ones”, must provide an internal complaints handling service to the client companies;
  • All must indicate in their general conditions “two or more mediators” with whom they are ready to contact for the extrajudicial handling of disputes;
  • Any change in these conditions must be subject to a notice period of at least fifteen days to entitle the termination of the contract.

In addition, this directive deals with the double level of product quality, that is, the way in which products are sold under the same brand in different EU countries, while they differ in their composition and characteristics. “Clarifies how national authorities they must deal with deceptive marketing, “writes the European Parliament.

“This package updates consumer rights in the Internet era, offers new protections and gives consumers the ability to obtain information every time they buy.” You can no longer cheat consumers. The products are designed for different standards, but they are marketed as identical in different Member States, “says Daniel Dalton (ECR, United Kingdom), in charge of this legislation in Parliament, in a statement.

The draft Regulation, whose content has been agreed in principle between the Parliament and the European Council (governments), has yet to be formally adopted by the Council with a view to entering into force in one year. . The revision of the consumer law must also be subject to a final vote of the Council and must be applied in two years.

In April 2018, the European Commission estimated that more than one million companies in the twenty-eight Member States used online platforms to reach their customers.

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