On 6 September 2018, a representative of Ecommerce Europe attended the seminar where participants discussed the future of the P2B Regulation and its effects on the relationship between platforms and their business users.
Ambassador Jaroslav Zajíček, from the Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to COREPER I, and Milena Jabůrková, Vice-President of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic, opened the event.
Ms. Jabůrková identified three problems related to the proposed P2B regulation. First, there is a question of its scope. Second, there is a risk of abuse of collective redress and its different interpretation by judges in EU countries which could create harmonization problems for the Single Market. Lastly, when it comes to revealing the parameters that determine product ranking, platforms must be able to keep their trade secrets and critical information as well as their competitive advantage.
Ms. Siada El Ramly, Director General of EDIMA, said that the principle-based approach was good, but that the scope of the Regulation was too broad. Michal Feix, Senior Policy Advisor to Seznam.cz, expressed his views on the proposal’s take-down notice saying that it would allow traders who breach the company’s terms and conditions to keep breaching them until the end of the take-down notice period. He also stressed that sharing algorithm details with the competition was a big concern and that business users could use it to cheat the platform.
Patrick Gibbels, Secretary General of European Small Business Alliance, said that there should be some degree of transparency in ranking parameters without giving away trade secrets. He also said that platforms should explain in detail why a company had been de-listed and should notify businesses in case of significant changes to terms and conditions.
Jakob Kucharczyk, Vice President, Competition & EU Regulatory Policy (CCIA), said that the rule on sequencing in the collective redress provision was missing in the proposal and that platforms should not be obliged to notify businesses about every change in terms and conditions.
Werner Stengg, DG Connect, Head of Unit “E-Commerce and Platforms”, defended the Commission’s proposal by saying that the Commission’s intent was to oblige platforms to reveal only some basic information on the ranking criteria and that sequencing in the collective redress provision is neither legally possible nor necessary.