EU Regulation of Digital platforms

Prohibition procedure of online intermediation services and search engines

From 12 July 2020, the new national act has assigned jurisdiction on the Market Court to consider cases concerning the prohibition procedure in accordance with the EU Regulation relating to the relations between online platforms and companies using them in their business (Regulation (EU) 2019/1150 of the European Parliament and of the Council on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services). 

Companies and their representative organisations can initiate a prohibition procedure before the Market Court aiming to stop the procedure incompatible with the Regulation. The Market Court can impose a provider of online intermediation services, i.e. an online platform or search engine, a general prohibition on using a procedure incompatible with the Regulation. The prohibition can be made more effective with a penalty payment. 

The new national act means that cases concerning prohibiting a procedure incompatible with the Regulation are handled before the Market Court. Instead, individual disputes between companies will continue to be resolved in general courts in accordance with general procedural rules. In practice, if a practice is felt to be incompatible with the Regulation and confirmation is sought for it, a company or its representative organisation requests for a prohibition from the Market Court. If the company, however, has private claims about a procedure that is incompatible with the Regulation, the case will be handled before a district court.  

The Regulation improves the position of companies and prevents unclear practices in expressing search results

EU Regulation relating to the relations between online platforms and companies using them in their business aims to increase the transparency of the activities of online platforms and to address the practices followed in the contractual relations between online platforms and companies. The Regulation lays down more detailed provisions on issues such as the deadlines within which online platforms must notify the company of contractual changes or the termination of the service. The Regulation also contains provisions on an obligation to provide companies with access to information affecting the order of search results displayed by the online platform or search engine. For example, platforms and search engines must indicate how payments can be used to affect the order of displayed search results.

As a result of the introduction of this Regulation, online platforms will be obliged to establish an internal complaint handling system to deal with disputes arising from the Regulation and to appoint independent mediators.

More information: 

EU regulation to increase openness of online platform and search engine activities

Regulation (EU) 2019/1150 

European Commission publishes ranking guidelines under the P2B Regulation to increase transparency of online search results

Hearing of cases in Market Court (available only in Finnish )

Further information: sami.teravainen(at)tem.fi and hannele.timonen(at)tem.fi