The new P2B regulation: what are the benefits for online traders?

June 23, 2020

Traders should expect new notifications from their platforms before the end of June

On 12 July 2020 a new EU regulation to promote “fairness and transparency” for traders who use online market places is due to come into force.

For the many thousands of traders that use platforms to market their goods and services, the P2B Regulations raise the level of fairness and transparency in the relationship with the platform. Key benefits for traders will be:

  • To have a better understanding of the dark art of search engine rankings, which can play an important role in pointing consumers to the trader, and of how the rankings can be influenced by payments to the platform.
  • Greater transparency over if and how some traders are given more favourable treatment on the platform than others.
  • If a platform imposes restrictions on the trader’s ability to offer goods or services to consumers on more favourable terms than those offered on the platform, while the platform is not prevented from doing this (subject competition law considerations), the platform must set out an explanation of the reasons for the restrictions.
  • While the platform is not required to provide the trader with access to data generated by the trader’s and consumers’ use of the platform (such as ratings and reviews), the platform must provide information on if and how such data can be accessed, and if and on what basis such data is shared with third parties.
  • Limitation on the platform’s ability to suspend or exclude the trader from the platform without adequate explanation and access to a complaints process or third party mediation to help resolve disputes.

While some platforms will have already implemented changes to their T&Cs to reflect the requirements of the P2B Regulation, over the coming weeks traders can expect to see emails from their platforms notifying updates to the T&Cs. Traders will need to review these carefully to understand the impact of the changes, as it is possible some platforms will seek to implement changes beyond those strictly required.

At least 15 days’ notice of the changes is required before they take effect. Traders should note that if they add new goods or services to the platform during this notice period, they will be deemed to have accepted the new T&Cs. If the trader does not wish to accept the new T&Cs, they have the option to terminate the agreement with the platform before the expiry of the notice period.

How we can help?

This briefing note is for general information. Please contact us if you would like further information on how the P2B regulation may impact your business, and for assistance with reviewing new terms and conditions.


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Nigel Miller
Partner
Direct dial: +44 (0)7973 641 158
nmiller@foxwilliams.com

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