On 28 January, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) adopted its final report on the Omnibus proposal. The proposal is one part of legislative package aimed at modernising EU consumer laws (named the ‘New Deal for Consumers’) – the other focusing on creating a system of representative action lawsuits against companies infringing consumer law.
The Omnibus proposal covers four different EU law directives and makes targeted amendments to adapt these laws to the digital environment and to update them based on the Commission’s re-evaluation of these laws. The final IMCO report expands the scope of consumer rules to contracts which are concluded against a ‘counter-performance’ of personal data, whilst there are also some changes in the requirements for native advertising and content marketing, which aim to tighten the requirements of proper disclosure. Although touching on similar issues, the proposal does not seem to have much of an impact on online advertising as a business model.
The other part of the New Deal for Consumers, the Representative Actions proposal, was passed through Parliament in early December. As it currently stands, progress for these files is now dependent on the Council reaching a General Approach as soon as possible. If they are unable to do so by March, there is a risk that the files will not be concluded in the current Parliamentary mandate, meaning the new laws may only be adopted towards the end of 2019.