The platform-to-business relations regulation (Regulation (EU) 2019/1150) requires online intermediation services, such as ecommerce marketplaces, app stores and online travel agents, to set out in their terms and conditions the main parameters determining ranking and the reasons for their relative importance. A similar obligation applies to online search engines.
The Commission has published guidelines that address the main requirements for online platforms identified in the Regulation, from the need to identify key algorithmic parameters behind ranking to their communication to businesses.
They will help online platforms make the right information available to businesses so that they in turn can consider how best to increase and manage their online visibility, enabling consumers to ultimately receive the highest quality goods and services. They will also provide valuable support for the adequate and effective enforcement of the transparency requirement to ensure online platforms are acting fairly in their ranking practices.
These guidelines are not legally binding.
In order to gather the input of stakeholders, the European Commission organised two workshops at the end of 2019 where a variety of stakeholders discussed the purpose and design of the guidelines.
The event reports of the workshops are now available:
- For the workshop of 21 November 2019 (.pdf), which focused on e-commerce, travel and accommodation, car rental and delivery sectors; and
- For the workshop of 12 December 2019 (.pdf), which brought together stakeholders representing online search engines, app developers and stores, as well as social media.
Dedicated Online Survey
A targeted online survey was open for comments until 31 December 2019. See the answers in a zip file.
Available stakeholder submissions include:
- Position Paper - ACT (.pdf) – the App Association
- DMG Media submission (.pdf) to the EU Ranking Transparency Guidelines Survey: arbitrary and discriminatory changes to search algorithms
- DuckDuckGo letter (.pdf) submission
- EBU reply (.pdf) to the online survey
- EGDF statement (.pdf) on the EC guidelines on transparency of ranking guidelines
- EU Travel Tech’s input (.pdf) to the Commission’s guidelines on P2B regulation’s provisions on ranking
- Google (.pdf)’s contribution
- SMEunited Position Paper (.pdf) on Ranking Transparency Guidelines