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Netherlands: ACM requests comments on draft guidelines regarding transparency rules for online platforms and search engines

The Authority for Consumer and Markets ('ACM') requested, on 22 September 2022, public comments on its draft guidelines for promoting a transparent and fair online platform economy for businesses. In particular, the ACM highlighted that the draft guidelines outline the types of information which providers of online platforms and online search engines must provide to businesses that offer goods or services using such platforms and search engines. Furthermore, the draft guidelines highlight that the terms and conditions of online platforms for businesses must be written in plain and easy-to-understand language, and that they must be easily available.

More specifically, the draft guidelines elaborate on Regulation (EU) 2019/1150 of 20 June 2019 on Promoting Fairness and Transparency for Business Users of Online Intermediation Services ('P2B Regulation'), noting that online platforms must inform business users of the grounds which can result in suspension of services and what data can be accessed. Likewise, the draft guidelines build on the P2B Regulation, detailing that online platforms must ensure business users have a 15-day notice period before changing the terms and conditions, with an appropriately longer notice period necessary for technical or commercial changes.

In addition, the draft guidelines outline the requirement for transparency with regard to terms and conditions relating to suspension or termination of services for online businesses, alongside the transparency requirements relating to the ranking of goods and services in search results.

Public comments may be submitted to [email protected] until 20 October 2022.

You can read the announcement here and the draft guidelines here.