Responsibility of the providers of intermediation online services and providers of online search engines

In the Electronic Marketing Act there are accepted amendments, which have as purpose to ensure the implementation of Regulation (EU) 2019 / 1150 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services.

The ratified in 2019 Regulation (EU) 2019 / 1150 is aimed at preventing potentially harmful practices and bad-faith marketing behaviour within the relations between online platforms and business users of intermediation services, which these platforms provide. The Regulation also aims to warrant a predictable, stable and reliable online business environment within the EU’s Unified Market and to provide transparency and trust within the relations between the companies in the economy of online platforms.

The provisions of the Regulation enter into force a pack of mandatory rules for the providers of intermediation online services, which include: requirements towards the general terms and conditions of the providers of intermediation online services; rules and terms in case of restriction, pausing and termination of services towards a certain business user; requirements, related to the specific contractual conditions, etc. In respect to the need for creating conditions for easier out-of-court dispute resolution, the providers of online intermediation services are obliged to form and maintain an internal system for reviewing complaints and are included requirements and rules in respect to mediation.

The Regulation is directly applicable, but the member-states have to guarantee its adequate and effective implementation, while setting up at national level the rules and measures, applicable in respect to violation of the Regulation’s provisions.

In respect to this, in the Electronic Marketing Act a new chapter is created, which refers to civil-law protection against violations of Regulation (EU) 2019 / 1150 and alternative (out-of-court) dispute resolution, with which the consequences of non-compliance with the obligations stemming from the Regulation are defined. Providers of online intermediation services and providers of online search engines take responsibility for violating the requirements set out by Regulation (EU) 2019 / 1150 by virtue of the Civil Procedural Code (CPC). Applications that can be filed by business users and the users of corporate websites, are carried within the main procedure of CPC and are for the purpose of establishing the factual violation, termination of the violation, and/or prohibition of carrying out actions and commercial practices, which are in violation of Regulation (EU) 2019 / 1150.

Group applications for termination of the violation and/or prohibition for carrying out actions and other commercial practices, which are in violation of Regulation (EU) 2019 / 1150, may also be filed by initiative of public authorities, organisations and partnerships, which have legal interest to represent business users and users of corporate websites.

Also, the powers of the court are specified in relation to determining a compensation for damages (both pecuniary and non-pecuniary), as well as for lost profits. An opportunity for alternative dispute resolution is also created.

Included are fines in respect to the obligations of the providers of information society services to store data or to receive access to data, stored in the end-user device of the service recipient. These steps are aimed at fulfilling the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as well as meeting the requirements of Regulation (EU) 2019/1150 in respect to data treatment.

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