Regulation (EU) 2018/302

Regulation (EU) 2018/302

General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679

 

In a highly digitalised world, the European Commission is placing great importance to ensure that the internal market is “fit for the digital era”.

Two key objectives of the Digital Single Market Policy are promoting access to online services and eliminating the red tape for businesses selling cross-border.

To achieve its key objectives, Digital Single Market legislation covers a wide range of issues, including e-commerce, online platforms, data protection or geo-blocking.


Digital Single Market Strategy

On 6 May 2015, the European Commission published its Digital Single Market Strategy. The Strategy revolves around three policy pillars:

  • Improving access to digital goods and services

  • Creating an environment where digital networks and services can flourish

  • Maximising the growth potential of the European Digital Economy

The Commission was charged with 16 key action points under these pillars by the end of 2016.

Seldia supports the Digital Single Market Strategy, particularly its goal of removing legal barriers to cross-border trade, as well as increasing Europeans’ digital literacy.


Online Platforms

Online platforms (e.g. search engines, social media, e-commerce platforms, app stores, price comparison websites) are playing an increasingly important role in citizens’ economic and social life.

On 28 April 2018, the European Commission published a proposal on “fairness and transparency of online platforms” with the aim of putting an end to certain harmful unfair trading practices performed by online platforms against business users. The initiative only applies to contractual relationships between online platforms and businesses (B2B). It introduces rules on terms and conditions, as well as other issues concerning B2B contractual relationships (termination of contract, ranking of offers).

Contractual relationships between online platforms and consumers (B2C) are addressed in the “New Deal for Consumers” legislative package proposed by the European Commission on 11 April 2018.


Data Protection

The General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 entered into force on 24 May 2016 and became applicable from 25 May 2018.

Some key highlights of the Regulation:

  • Businesses can collect and process data only for a well-defined purpose

  • Users have the right to access and ask the businesses for a copy of their data

  • Users have the “right to be forgotten” (right to erase their data) under certain conditions

  • Companies not complying with the Regulation can face fines up to €20 million, or 4% of the

company’s worldwide turnover.


Geoblocking

Regulation (EU) 2018/302 addresses unjustified discrimination in online sales based on customers' nationality, place of residence or place of establishment within the internal market.

The Regulation entered into force on 22 March 2018 and became applicable from 3 December 2018.

Some examples of geo-blocking include blocking access to websites across borders, denying cross-border delivery of products or providing different prices depending on nationality, country of residence or location of the customer.

The Regulation sets out three specific situations where there can be no justified reasons for geo-blocking or other discriminations based on nationality, residence or location:

  • The sale of goods without physical delivery (e.g. digital products)

  • The sale of electronically supplied services

  • The sale of services provided in a specific physical location


Useful links:

https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/policies/shaping-digital-single-market

https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/online-platforms-digital-single-market

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/priorities/justice-and-fundamental-rights/data-protection/2018-reform-eu-data-protection-rules_en

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/content/news/geo-blocking-regulation-enters-into-force.html