European Commission issues new rules for online marketplaces

European Commission deploys new rules which will enhance consumer protections in online marketplaces.

The new rules will increase transparency for online marketplaces by making it clearer whether products are sold by a trader or private individual. It will also prohibit submissions of fake reviews or endorsements.

Furthermore, sellers will not be able to advertise fake price reductions and price comparison sites will need to tell consumers about the ranking criteria.

European Commission vice-president for values and transparency Věra Jourová said, “The new rules will increase protection for consumers in digital world, which they rightly deserve. The EU is also saying NO to products sold as identical in other Member States, when this is clearly not the case.

“But these new rules won’t protect consumers from rogue traders and online tricksters unless they are strictly implemented on the ground. I strongly encourage all Member States to ensure that the new rules are implemented without delay.”

Other rules released by the European Commission include mandatory compensation to victims for unfair commercial practices. Penalties will also be imposed in the event of a major harmful situation impacting consumers across the EU.

Member states have two years to replicate the directive into their national legislation.

European Commission commissioner for justice Didier Reynders said, “Today we are sending a strong warning to traders that they should play by the rules, not bend them. Breaking EU consumer rules on large scale may cost a company a big fine of at least 4% of annual turnover.

“This will be a sufficiently dissuasive and effective penalty to prevent dishonest traders from cheating. I welcome this new legislation, as it is setting truly European consumer protection standards.”

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