The P2B Regulation (2019/1150) regulates the relationship between online platforms (including search engines, listing platforms, app stores, business social media) and their business customers. It aims to protect businesses that depend on online platforms for reaching consumers, while also protecting the potential for platforms to innovate. It can apply to online e-commerce market places (such as eBay, Booking.com and Amazon), online software applications services (such as Apple App Store and Google Play) and online social media services (such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter). It specifies requirements for terms and conditions, complaints and enforcement procedures between online platforms and their business customers. In addition, both online platforms and search engines must provide information to business customers about ranking methodologies.
You can see more of the detail in our previous article: New platform economy rules – will they affect your business?
At the time of our previous article, it was not clear whether these rules would survive Brexit and continue to apply in the UK after the end of the transition period. The UK Government has now published draft legislation that will carry the system over into the UK. This clarifies that these rules will continue to apply in the UK following the end of the transition period, with a possible change of direction in the future. As a result, UK businesses who are subject to the P2B Regulation should ensure compliance by carrying out a thorough assessment and modification of their terms and conditions in accordance with the regulation. Online platforms will also need to consider adopting new procedures when updating future terms and conditions, as well as when handling complaints and disputes.
Any businesses engaging with the EU market will, of course, need to comply with the original P2B Regulation even after the end of the Brexit transition period.
As there has been some debate as to how the P2B Regulation will apply in practice following a consultation with stakeholders, the EU Commission is publishing guidance material on their P2B page to put it into context.