EU lawmakers to rein in online marketplaces

Monday 15 October 2018 10:44 CET | News

A key EU lawmaker has announced proposals aimed at curbing online marketplaces’ use of merchants’ data to boost sales of own brand products.

In April 2018, the European Commission outlined draft rules to prevent unfair business practices, seeking to ensure a level playing field between tech giants such as Google, Amazon, and Apple and traditional businesses. The proposal specifically targets app stores, search engines, ecommerce sites, and hotel booking websites.

Nevertheless, European Parliament lawmakers, whose approval is needed to ensure the proposal becomes legislation, have since come up with about 680 amendments to beef up the draft.

Among these, one proposes setting up Chinese walls between subsidiaries. “To ensure fairness, the provider of the online intermediation service should not be allowed to disclose the data generated by the transactions of a business user to third parties for commercial purposes, including within their own corporate structure, without the consent of the business user,” the draft said.

Also, lawmakers want the rules to cover voice assistance services or virtual helpers such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant because of their increasing popularity.

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Keywords: online marketplaces, merchants, unfair business practices, ecommerce, law, regulations, voice assistance, Europe
Countries: World