Europe gives final greenlight to ecommerce regulation

Thursday 6 October 2022 14:51 CET | News

European Union lawmakers have reportedly given their final approval to its ecommerce-focused regulation – The Digital Services Act.


This will be the first relevant update to the legal framework for digital services since the year 2000, according to TechCrunch. The sign-off will concretise through the fact that the Digital Services Act (DSA) will be formally adopted.

The EU Digital Services Act

The DSA lays out content moderation and marketplace rules that aim to streamline the removal of illegal content, services, or products and drive accountability around such decisions. The law aims to diminish dark pattern design, which refers to deceptive interfaces that try to trick consumers into making online choices that are not in their interests.

Commenting on the DSA’s adoption as cited by TechCrunch, Jozef Síkela, the Czech minister for industry and trade, said that The Digital Services Act is one of the EU’s most ground-breaking horizontal regulations that has the potential to become the ‘gold standard’ for other regulators in the world. By setting new standards for a safer and more accountable online environment, the DSA marks the beginning of a new relationship between online platforms and users and regulators in the European Union and beyond.

European Union lawmakers have reportedly given their final approval to its ecommerce-focused regulation – The Digital Services Act.


Timeline and topics covered by the Digital Services Act

The regulation will be published in the EU’s Official Journal on 13 October, with the most of the measures starting to apply 15 months after the DSA’s entry into force, in 2024. The timeline is meant to give digital platforms and services time to comply with tighter rules around governance and safety.

The EU has targeted a subset of DSA rules at so-called Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) and Very Large Online Search Engines (VLOSEs) — aka platforms with 45M+ users in the EU — which will have more stringent requirements and centralised supervision by the Commission itself. The latter is intended to prevent Big Tech using regulatory forum shopping at a Member State level to evade the new European rules.

Recent amendments to the DSA

According to the final version of the Digital Services Act, VLOPs/VLOSEs will also face transparency measures and scrutiny of how their algorithms work. These companies are being required to conduct systemic risk analysis and reduction to drive accountability about the society impacts of their products. Additionally, the DSA includes some limits on tracking-based advertising, Crunchbase explains. While VLOPs/VLOSEs must also offer users a system for content recommendation that is not based on profiling.

Additionally, the EU added a crisis mechanism in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine to address risks around the manipulation of online information that’s a trademark of Kremlin propaganda.

The EU also adopted a reform of digital competition policy that will see a set of up-front requirements applied to the most powerful intermediary platforms — under the Digital Markets Act, the DSA’s correspondent regulation.

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Keywords: regulation, European Commission, ecommerce, digital payments, online shopping
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: Europe
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce