Brussels, BELGIUM — The European Commission has begun its public inquiry into online platforms, releasing its consultation today as part of developing its Digital Single Market strategy.

The questions cover four main categories:

  • the business practices of online platforms and consumer fairness
  • intermediary liability of online companies
  • data and cloud in digital ecosystems
  • the collaborative economy

The Computer & Communications Industry Association will respond to the consultation advocating for policies that will grow Europe’s economy, digital and otherwise.

The following can be attributed to CCIA Europe Vice President James Waterworth:

“The Commission had no choice but to put platforms on the agenda following pressure from France and Germany. Now that it is beginning this assessment it will need to think carefully about the implications for the economy as whole, particularly European innovators that grow companies here.”

“This exercise should seek to understand the positive impact that online platforms have in the modern economy. If there are problems someone will need to be more precise about what exactly they are and why they can’t be dealt with under existing law such as competition, consumer and privacy law.”

The following can be attributed to CCIA Director Jakob Kucharczyk:

“In light of national divergences, it makes sense to clarify and strengthen the principle of intermediary liability protection. This principle is a cornerstone for the digital economy and helped in achieving a thriving landscape of successful and innovative online businesses in Europe. The current framework works and needs to be preserved. We are concerned about potential ‘duty of care’ obligations which could undermine the balanced framework we have today.”

For more information on how the European Commission’s platform consultation could affect cars, newspapers and stock exchanges, please see Waterworth’s DisCo blog post.

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