EBF advisors: Noemie Papp & Julian Schmücker
Publication date: 03 October 2018
The European Banking Federation supports the timely approach of the EU Commission’s proposal for a Regulation on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services. This proposal will contribute:
- to build a fair and equal treatment for users of online platforms. Ensuring a transparent and balanced business relation between platforms and their business user will make it easier for banks to assess this business model and the associated risks,
- to build a higher degree of certainty for businesses wishing to make use of platforms as part of their business model,
- in turn, this may further stimulate the digital economy and the digital single market as a whole.
We encourage authorities to continue monitoring digital markets closely, including through the new Observatory on the Online Platform Economy, with a view to identifying and addressing any further barriers to digital single market and fair competition.
We believe in a balanced Regulation, contributing to the framework of a prosperous Digital Single Market while setting proportionate rules in order to facilitate fairness and transparency to the benefit of consumers, business users and providers of online intermediation services.
Comments in our position paper reflect the understanding that:
- the scope of the Regulation should consider existing rules of protection regarding investment services, namely under MiFIDII,
- consumers and business users would benefit from a more explicit reference to non-discriminatory and proportionate grounds for decisions taken by platform providers,
- platform providers should give a proportionate statement of reasons in cases of suspension, termination or de facto similar actions, while at the same time being able to consider risks for integrity of the platform and stored data,
- transparency requirements on ranking parameters are important but should be implemented in a way preserving the intellectual property of algorithms,
- descriptions of differentiated treatments by platform providers of their own products or services should be transparently included in the terms and conditions. It should cover, among other things, access to and conditions of hardware or operating system-level functionality of mobile devices, where their provider is also the platform provider utilizing its own connected services and products.
We would like to point out the importance of consistency of rules under the proposed Regulation with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the future Regulation on the free flow of non-personal data (FFDR).
A two-year review period for the rules on online platforms appears to efficiently ensure requirements to be fit-for-purpose in a fast-evolving digital landscape.