The European Commission needs feedback and suggestions on the broad objectives of the ranking transparency guidelines.

The new Regulation (EU) 2019/1150 on platform-to-business relations requires online intermediation services, such as ecommerce marketplaces, app stores, 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 will produce guidelines to help online intermediation services and online search engines understand this obligation, before it starts to apply on 12 July 2020. We would like your feedback and suggestions on the broad objectives of the guidelines and ask you in addition to identify possible sectoral specificities, illustrative examples, industry best practices and future trends.

Participate in the survey

Deadline for submissions to this survey is 12 December 2019.

Objectives of the Guidelines

The guidelines have the following objectives:

  1.  Elaborate on the main elements included in Article 5 such as ‘ranking’, ‘relative importance’, ‘main parameters, ‘adequate understanding’.
  2. Provide guidance on balancing giving meaningful transparency and preventing bad faith manipulation of ranking.
  3. Identify existing sectoral rules and industry best practices which may be of relevance.
  4. Provide guidance on the complementarity and relationship between requirements in the Regulation with consumer protection/marketing legislation and the fight against illegal content online.
  5. Provide practical guidance and examples of how online intermediation services and search engines can describe and present the main parameters in the most meaningful way for business users.
  6. Provide sector specific guidance, if and where appropriate.
  7. Identify ways to help businesses monitor, or self-verify changes in ranking parameters, including the latest technical tools or experiments.

The technology used for ranking does not matter particularly, as the type of online intermediation services these guidelines could apply to in the future may not even been developed yet. At the same time, voice technology is an existing type of interface design to which the ranking guidelines will equally explicitly apply.