With its proposal to regulate the business relationships between platforms and commercial providers, the European Commission aims to achieve greater transparency on digital platforms. In the future, search engines will also have to set out their criteria for displaying their search results.
The proposals are problematic. Oliver Süme, Chair of eco – Association of the Internet Industry, elaborates:
“The Commission’s proposal on platform regulation for commercial business represents an encroachment on contractual freedom and directly impacts the business model of companies. For platform operators and search engine providers, extended information obligations represent a disproportionate additional outlay. Requiring platform operators and search engine providers to set out rankings may also entail interference in trade secrets, against which the safeguard clause contained in the draft regulation is also ineffective. An extrajudicial obligation to mediate, undertaken at the expense of the platform operators, as well as stipulations for their internal complaint-handling systems, unilaterally assign responsibility for disputes to these operators and at the same time make legal action more difficult for them. We oppose this unequal treatment. The rules for business relationships with platform operators and search engine providers should not differ from those of other companies. The blanket regulation of all online platforms is not fair either to sector-specific requirements or to the Internet industry”.