On 13 February, the European Parliament, Member States and the European Commission agreed on the first ever rules regulating the relationship between businesses and online platforms. The rules are intended to help small online retailers and they include a ban on sudden or unexplained suspension of accounts.
The law will also oblige platforms to provide their terms and conditions in plain and intelligible language, to notify businesses of any changes in advance, disclose the main parameters they use for the ranking of goods and services, any advantages that they might give to their own products as well as what data they collect and share. Finally, the new regulation provides for new possibilities for resolving disputes and complaints. The legislation will enter into force 12 months after its publication and will be subject to a review within 18 months thereafter. We welcome this initiative which will help SA e-shops which use European e-platforms to sell into Europe.