The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

BA Welcomes EU Regulation of Online Platforms

The BA welcomes the recent European Commission announcement of new Rules to improve the fairness of online platforms’ trading practices – platforms like Amazon’s MarketPlace.

Meryl Halls, Managing Director of the Booksellers Association commented: “We see it as a step in the right direction and we are delighted that our substantial representations have been acted on by DG Connect (the Directorate responsible for Communications Networks, Content and Technology) and the Commission.

“The new Rules, when approved, will benefit our members who use Amazon’s MarketPlace.  Transparency will be improved; digital platforms will no longer be able to suspend or terminate a seller's account without clear reasons; and there will now be appeal possibilities for sellers. Most importantly, any Terms and Conditions imposed by Amazon on sellers must be easily available, provided in plain language and any changes given with at least 15 days’ prior notice.  It’s also good to see that all platforms must set up an internal complaint-handling system to assist business users”.  

Giles Clifton, the BA’s Head of Corporate Affairs added: “We are delighted to learn that Amazon will also have to disclose to sellers using the MarketPlace platform details of the data they collect, and how they use it – and in particular how such data is shared with other business partners.  Moreover, Amazon will have to exhaustively disclose any advantage they may give to their own products over others.
“The BA has lobbied DG Connect hard on this subject, providing data from a member survey to DG Connect, so our booksellers have played an important part in getting across key points of concern to the European Commission – for which we thank them”.

The European Parliament now has to take the final step of approving the recommended Rules so that they appear on the Statute Book.

Further information can be obtained from the European Commission’s press statement: