The European Commission promotes fairness and transparency for businesses on online platforms.

The Regulation

The EU Regulation on platform-to-business relations (P2B regulation), which entered into force in July 2019, is the first-ever set of rules creating a fair, transparent and predictable business environment for smaller businesses and traders on online platforms.

Along with the new rules, the Commission created the Observatory on the online platform economy in order to monitor the latest trends in this sector. Platforms must comply with the P2B Regulation before it starts to apply on 12 July 2020.

Why it matters

Platforms offer unparalleled efficiencies in access to cross-border markets and are crucial for millions of successful firms. While the gateway position of online platforms enables them to organise millions of users, it also opens the possibility unilateral trading practices that are harmful, and against which no effective redress is available for the businesses using these platforms.

Both direct harm to businesses, as well as the possibility for such harm, undermine the innovation potential of platforms.

With this regulation, the Commission delivers on this commitment to take actions on unfair contracts and trading practices in platform-to-business relations.

The Regulation is accompanied by an Impact Assessment that incorporates evidence and stakeholders' views collected during a two-year fact-finding exercise.

Guidelines on the requirements for ranking transparency

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.

Questions and answers

The Commission has prepared a Q&A document (.pdf) that can serve as a checklist for online platforms and search engines, particularly smaller ones, when implementing the new requirements. It will help businesses get information on their new rights and the options available to resolve problems that may arise in their commercial relationships with online platforms. It also contains useful information for online intermediation services, search engines and representative organisations or associations.

Related documents


Legal documents

Studies and reports

Stakeholder consultations