The European parliament has approved changes to the EU consumer protection rules, which govern online marketplaces and comparison services, such as eBay, Amazon, Skyscanner and Airbnb.
According to the new rules, enacted as a European Union Directive, marketplaces and comparison services will have to disclose the key parameters that determine how listings resulting from search queries are ranked. Marketplaces and comparison services must also inform consumers whether personalized pricing is used and provide information whether the entity they are buying goods from is the online marketplace itself, a trader or a private individual.
In case of a widespread infringement of the rules by a marketplace or comparison service, the available maximum fine in each member state in the EU will amount to at least 4 % of the trader's annual turnover or a lump sum of two million euros. The new Directive will now be submitted to the EU council of Ministers for further approval. Then, member states in the EU will have to enact it as national law within 24 months.