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The European Commission aims at promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services.

Platforms offer unparalleled efficiencies in terms of access to cross-border consumer markets and have become the go-to interface for millions of successful firms.

While the gateway position of online platforms enables them to organise ecosystems of millions of users, it also opens a scope for certain unilateral trading practices that are harmful, and against which no effective redress is available for the businesses using these platforms.

Both direct harms to businesses, as well as the mere scope for such harm, undermine the innovation potential of platforms, which is exacerbated by emerging legal fragmentation.

The Commission therefore announced in its mid-term review of the Digital Single Market Strategy that it would deliver concrete actions on unfair contracts and trading practices in platform-to-business relations. This commitment to safeguard a fair, predictable, sustainable and trusted business environment in the online economy was confirmed in President Juncker's 2017 State of the Union address.

Delivering on this commitment, the Commission proposed on 26 April 2018 an EU Regulation on fairness and transparency together with the creation of an Observatory on the online platform economy.

The proposal was underpinned by an impact Assessment that incorporates evidence and stakeholders' views collected during a two-year fact-finding exercise.

On 13 February 2019,  the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission reached a political deal on the first-ever rules aimed at creating a fair, transparent and predictable business environment for smaller businesses and traders when using online platforms.

Useful links


Legal documents

Studies and reports

Stakeholder consultations