Feedback reference
F7394
Submitted by
Laurent ZIBELL
User type
Trade union
Organisation
industriAll European trade union
Organisation size
Small (10 to 49 employees)
Transparency register number
Country of origin
Belgium

As mentioned in our answer to the consultation and in the Policy Brief attached, industriAll European trade union supports legislative measures providing detailed principles (option 3), establishing a “single European regulator of digital on-line services”. This regulator should be allowed to receive information on Unfair Trade Practices (UTPs) by any actor in the digital world, and to handle it confidentially, so as to protect its informant against the risk of retaliation by the stronger party. It should then be entitled to engage in legal action to repress these UTPs, while still preserving the plaintiff from retaliation.

In addition, web sites that sell products or select information should be mandated to include a fair search algorithm. A concentric search, whereby all relevant results are first displayed in a random order (this randomness being controlled by third party inspection of the source code), with an easy option to refine search within these results, could be a first viable technical option for such a fair search algorithm. This fair algorithm would then be proposed in parallel to the proprietary, opaque algorithm of the platform.

We also propose that, when a digital platform has reached a monopolistic position in a given linguistic domain in the European Union, it should be legally separated from the rest of the company, in order to prevent cross-subsidisation and price distortions on the market.

The impact of UTPs is also economic and social, from a distributive point of view: seller businesses that are victims of UTPs have their value added captured by the platform. They loose their capacity to innovate, to invest, to maintain their productive capital (negative economic effects), and that of providing decent working and wage conditions to their workers - and to those in their supply chain (negative social effects).

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