Regulation (EU) 2019/1150 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on promoting fairness and transparency fot business users of online intermediation services, became applicable on 12 July 2020.
The regulation imposes new obligations on providers of online intermediation services as well as search engines in their commercial relationships with businesses using those services or assimilated platforms.
The general terms and conditions governing the relations between the parties, though they are both professionals, must be sufficiently clear and accessible starting from the contract negociation stage and for the duration of the commercial relationship. The parallel with consumer law provisions is flagrant, despite the B2B relationship of the parties in question. The texts include the same information requirements, for example on the modalities for ranking.
The regulation also provides for the establishment of new options for the resolution of disputes and complaints. It must be said that this is progress in the strategy for a single digital market envisaged at the European level, especially by prohibiting certain new practices considered unfair such as the unexplained suspension or termination of a vender account with an online intermediation service or on assimilated platforms.
All the new obligations imposed on the online intermediation service providers and assimilated platforms require the providing of reasons for the termination, suspension or any other restrictions on the provision of such services, the ranking criteria, a description of potential differential treatment given by the online intermediation services provider, specifying the main economic, commercial or legal considerations giving rise to such differential treatment.
In any case, the application of this regulation is the opportunity for the undertakings to verify whether their general terms and conditions are compliant, not only with the provisions of the regulation but also more broadly with the entirety of the applicable legislation such as the GDPR.
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|Renaud Le Squeren
Avocat à la Cour
|Kelly Quesada Vega
By Alison FRONT, Avocat.