EU to tackle complaints over tech firms’ unfair practices

Presents mid-term review of digital strategy

Brussels, May 10:  

The European Union executive is planning a law to deal with complaints about unfair trading practices by leading online players such as Apple and Google.

The European Commission said on Wednesday, in a mid-term review of its digital strategy, it will prepare an initiative by the end of the year to address unfair contractual clauses and trading practices in relations between platforms and businesses, prompting strong criticism from the tech industry.

This follows on from EU proposals to remove barriers in online services to improve European companies’ chances of competing against US tech giants such as Google, Apple and Facebook.

European companies such as Spotify, Rocket Internet and Deezer have complained that online platforms — such as search engines and app stores — abuse their position as gateways to customers to promote their own services or impose imbalanced terms and conditions.

The Commission said the initial findings of an investigation launched last year showed platforms were de-listing products or services without due notice, restricting access to data or not making search result rankings transparent enough.

(This article was published on May 10, 2017)

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