HOTREC warmly welcomes new transparency requirements for online platforms and comparison websites voted by European Parliament
Today’s adoption of the IMCO report on the modernisation of EU consumer law represents an important step to increase transparency on online markets. The proposed ban of some widespread unfair practices and the new information obligations for platforms and comparison websites will help consumers to make truly informed choices and gain a better access to the best deals online.
“Less than two months after the adoption of the Committee report on the Platform-to-Business Regulation, the European hospitality sector is glad to see that the Parliament also proposes to ban widespread unfair practices which directly target consumers online. The ban on hidden paid placements on online platforms and the regulation of comparison websites will allow consumers to better identify the products that suit their needs and reward the most efficient traders. This is a win-win situation for consumers and the industry” commented Mr. Jens Zimmer Christensen, President of HOTREC.“We are grateful that the IMCO Committee supported the requirements for platforms to inform consumers about who is behind an offer and if consumer law protects them. This shall contribute to fight against rogue traders using the anonymity of collaborative economy platforms to circumvent their legal obligations and to restore a level-playing field in the tourism accommodation market” added Christian de Barrin, CEO of HOTREC.
Indeed, the IMCO report proposes in particular to:
*Prohibit online platforms from displaying hidden paid placements in product rankings resulting from a consumer online search;
*Consider as a misleading practice not to inform consumers about the main parameters determining the ranking of products on online platforms;
*Increase transparency on the authenticity of reviews published by comparison websites;
*Require online platforms to inform consumers if products are sold by professional traders or not and if EU consumer law applies to the transactions.
HOTREC calls on the Council and European Parliament plenary to support the report adopted by the IMCO Committee.
For further information: www.hotrec.eu
HOTREC represents the hotel, restaurant and café industry at European level. The sector counts in total around 2 million businesses, being 99,5% small and medium sized enterprises (90% are micro enterprises, i.e. employing less than 10 people). These businesses make up some 60% of value added. The industry provides some 11.9 million jobs in the EU alone. Together with the other tourism industries, the sector is the 3rd largest industry in Europe. HOTREC brings together 42 national associations representing the interest of this industry in 30 different European countries.