Platform to Business (P2B) Regulation

P2B

The P2B Regulation came into effect in Ireland in July 2020. The purpose of the P2B Regulation is to provide a set of rules which create a fair, transparent and predictable environment for business users of online platforms. It provides avenues for redress to better protect business users and ultimately EU consumers through a fairer marketplace.

Under S.I. 256/2020 the CCPC is responsible for monitoring compliance with P2B legislation. The CCPC can also carry out an investigation into suspected breaches of these rules, and issue a Compliance Notice or begin criminal proceedings, if breaches have taken place.

The P2B Regulation applies to two categories of online provider:

  • Online intermediation service providers (“OISP”);
  • Online search engine providers (“OSEP”).

This includes online marketplaces, social media and creative content outlets, app stores, price comparison websites, platforms for the collaborative economy as well as online general search engines.

The P2B Regulation places a range of new requirements on OISPs and OSEPs.

For OISPs, these requirements include:

  • All terms and conditions must be written in plain and intelligible language. Business users should be informed of any changes in a durable medium e.g. email or in writing, and are entitled to a reasonable notice period of a minimum of 15 days (or shorter if agreed with business user).
  • A business user is required to be given an explanation as to why individual products/services are restricted, suspended or terminated by a platform. In cases where the business user’s entire service is terminated by the OISP, a statement on the reasons must be given 30 days in advance.
  • The terms and conditions must set out the main parameters determining the ranking of search results and the reasons for the relative importance of those parameters, compared to others. The Terms and Conditions must also explain if the payment of any kind of remuneration by the business user can influence the ranking of search results and if so, how the remuneration influences that ranking. Guidance on how to comply with this requirement is available here.
  • The platform must set out in its terms and conditions, a description of the type of ancillary goods and services offered and whether business users are allowed to offer their own.
  • If online platforms give differentiated treatment to their own products and services, then this must be detailed in the terms and conditions. Search engines are also required to provide details of any such differentiated treatment applied by them.
  • In order to ensure that contracts are conducted in good faith, there are requirements on platforms in relation to retrospective changes to terms and conditions, contract termination and data retention.
  • Online platforms must provide in their terms and conditions, a description of the data that can be generated and accessed through their services and under what conditions.
  • The terms and conditions provided must detail any restriction on business users from offering their product under different conditions outside the relevant platform including economic, commercial or legal considerations for those restrictions.
  • OISPs employing 50 or more persons and/or having an annual turnover/balance sheet in excess of €10 million are required to:
    • set up an internal complaint handling mechanism, free of charge and easily accessible to business users;
    • handle each complaint within a reasonable timeframe and communicate the outcome to the complainant in an individualised manner;
    • publish data on the complaints lodged, including the total number, the main categories, the average processing time, as well as aggregated information on the outcomes of the complaints;
    • identify two or more mediators with whom they are willing to engage in order to resolve disputes with business users, out of court, including complaints which could not be resolved through the internal complaint handling mechanism.
  • Business users, as well as representative organisations or associations who fulfil certain criteria, may take legal action to prevent any non-compliance by online platforms with the P2B Regulation.

For OSEPs, the two requirements include:

  • The terms and conditions should set out the main parameters determining the ranking of search results and the reasons for the relative importance of those parameters, compared to others. Search engines are also required to provide a description of these parameters. Guidance on how to comply with this requirement is available here.
  • If online platforms give differentiated treatment to their own products and services, then this must be detailed in the terms and conditions. Search engines are also required to provide details of any such differentiated treatment applied by them.

Further information on the P2B Regulation including practical guidance is available on the European Commission’s website here.

Contact us

  • Hidden

Register of unlawful acts

In accordance with regulation 5 of S.I. No. 256/2020 – the European Union (Promoting Fairness and Transparency for Business Users of Online Intermediation Services) Regulations 2020, the CCPC maintains a register of unlawful acts that have been the subject of an order before the Circuit Court or the High Court under section 71 of the Consumer Protection Act 2007. Any such orders will be listed here.

Return to Guidelines for Business

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?