Mid-Term Review on the implementation of the Digital Single Market Strategy

The Commission has conducted a fact-finding exercise on platform-to-business trading practices. Preliminary results indicate that some online platforms are engaging in trading practices which are to the potential detriment of their professional users, such as the removal (‘delisting’) of products or services without due notice or without any effective possibility to contest the platform’s decision.

There is widespread concern (de) that some platforms may favour their own products or services, otherwise discriminate between different suppliers and sellers and restrict access to, and the use of, personal and non-personal data, including that which is directly generated by a company’s activities on the platforms. Lack of transparency, e.g. in ranking or search results, or lack of clarity in relation to certain applicable legislation or policies have also been identified as key issues.

A significant proportion of disagreements between professional users and online platforms remain unresolved, which can create important negative impacts for the affected businesses. The general lack of accessible redress that would allow business users to tackle the emerging issues quickly and effectively when they arise also constitutes a key feature in the platform-to-business context, as highlighted by the emerging evidence.

Fighting the proliferation of illegal content online requires determined action by all stakeholders. At the same time, fundamental rights, such as freedom of speech, must be safeguarded and innovation needs to be encouraged. The Commission made the commitment to maintain a balanced and predictable liability regime for online platforms and to pursue a sectoral, problem-driven approach when it comes to fighting illegal content online.