EU Plans to Regulate Online Platforms and Search Engines

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Businesses increasingly use online platforms and search engines to reach consumers. The European Commission believes that situations of dependency enable online platforms and search engines to engage in unfair practices. Today, the EC published a new proposed Regulation on “promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services and online search engines in the Digital Single Market.” The Regulation aims to create a fair and predictable online environment for businesses by setting obligations for online platforms and search engines to provide business users with appropriate transparency and to offer effective redress possibilities. The consequences of a violation of the Regulation will depend on national law. They could include prohibitive injunctions, mandatory injunctions, or damages. The proposed Regulation also confers on representative organizations and public bodies the right to take collective actions before national courts to stop or prohibit any noncompliance.