On 16 November, the COREPER discussed the Austrian Presidency compromise text and gave its consent to forward it to the Competitiveness Council of 29 November 2018 in order to agree on a General Approach.
The Council will not impose any obligation other than transparency to re-balance the relationship between online platforms and business users. While MEPs have taken up the proposal with the firm objective of strengthening the framework proposed by the Commission, the Council is clearly in line with the Commission’s approach.
On 21 November, during the IMCO (Internal Market and Consumer Protection) Committee meeting, MEPs discussed the compromise amendments. The issue that was most difficult to agree on was whether operating systems should be covered by the scope of the P2B Regulation. EP Rapporteur Christel Schaldemose (S&D) said that she believed that platforms should not be able to use operating systems as a means of avoiding the rules on fairness and transparency. For this reason an anti-avoidance clause had been included in the proposal. On the other hand, MEP Dalton (ECR) did not support the extension of the scope to operating systems, but supported the suggestion to include an anti-avoidance clause. He also said that a platform should not be forced to publish all of the parameters that made up their algorithms. This is important because disclosing all the parameters would also mean disclosing trade secrets of platforms.
ITRE, JURI and TRAN Committee of the European Parliament have already adopted their opinions. The vote in IMCO committee is scheduled on 6 December.