P2B Regulation: Perspectives from platforms and businesses seminar held at the Czech Republic Permanent Representation to the EU

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On 6 September 2018, a representative of Ecommerce Europe attended the seminar  where participants  discussed  the future of the P2B Regulation  and its effects on the relationship between platforms  and their business users. 

Ambassador Jaroslav  Zajíček, from the Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic  to COREPER I, and Milena  Jabůrková, Vice-President of the Confederation of  Industry of the Czech Republic,  opened  the event.  

Ms.  Jabůrková  identified  three problems related to the proposed P2B regulation. First, there is a question of its scope. Second,  there is a risk of abuse of collective redress and its different interpretation by  judges in EU countries which  could create harmonization problems for the Single Market. Lastly,  when it comes to revealing the parameters that determine  product  ranking,  platforms must be able to keep  their trade secrets and critical information as well as  their competitive advantage. 

Ms. Siada  El  Ramly, Director  General of  EDIMA,  said that the principle-based  approach was good, but that the scope of the Regulation was too broad.  Michal  Feix, Senior Policy Advisor to Seznam.cz,   expressed his views on the proposal’s take-down  notice saying that it  would allow traders who breach the  company’s terms and conditions to  keep breaching them  until the end of the  take-down notice period. He also stressed that sharing  algorithm  details with the competition was a big concern and  that  business users  could use  it  to cheat the platform. 

Patrick  Gibbels,  Secretary General of  European Small Business Alliance,  said that  there should be some degree of transparency in ranking parameters without giving away trade secrets.  He also said that platforms should explain in detail  why a company had been de-listed  and  should  notify  businesses  in case of  significant changes to terms and conditions. 

Jakob  Kucharczyk,  Vice President, Competition & EU Regulatory Policy (CCIA), said that the rule on sequencing  in the collective redress provision  was missing in the proposal  and that platforms should not be obliged to notify businesses about every change in terms and conditions. 

Werner  Stengg,  DG Connect, Head of Unit “E-Commerce and Platforms”,  defended the Commission’s proposal by saying that  the Commission’s intent  was  to oblige  platforms to reveal only  some basic information on  the  ranking criteria and that  sequencing in the collective redress  provision  is  neither  legally possible  nor necessary.  

Ecommerce Europe published a position paper on this subject, as well as a comprehensive   Executive Summary on the proposal.

 

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