What’s new in e-commerce?

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The month of July has brought changes in the legal framework of e-commerce in Luxembourg and the EU. We would therefore like to share a brief overview of these changes.

Amendements to the e-commerce law of 14 August 2000 to ensure compliance with eIDAS Regulation

On 7 July 2020, bill of law n°7427 amending the law of 14 August 2000 on e-commerce (the “e-Commerce Law”) in order to comply with Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (the “eIDAS Regulation”) was passed in Parliament .

Luxembourg’s information and communication sector forms an integral part of the country’s development and diversification strategy. That is why bill of law n°7427 was filed last year, with the primary objective of amending the e-Commerce Law in order to comply with the eIDAS Regulation and, in particular, to help clarify the role played by the relevant supervisory body in Luxembourg.

As you may recall, the eIDAS Regulation sought to enhance trust in electronic transactions in the internal market by providing a common foundation for secure and seamless electronic interaction between citizens, businesses and public authorities.

To this end, the eIDAS Regulation establishes a framework enabling the use of electronic identification means and trust services (i.e. electronic signatures, electronic seals, time stamping, registered electronic delivery and website authentication) to access online services or manage electronic transactions.

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Introduction of the first ever set of EU rules framing the relationship between online platforms and business users

On 12 July 2020, 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 “P2B Regulation”) entered into force.

In this respect, bill of law n°7537 (the “Bill of Law”) was introduced in Luxembourg on 25 March 2020 for the purpose of implementing the procedure for complaints that companies having suffered damages may file against an online platform that has failed to comply with the requirements of the P2B Regulation.

In an age of growing digital commerce, end-users frequently opt to engage with intermediation services, meaning that more and more businesses are relying on these platforms to attract consumers. Following the emergence of COVID-19 in March 2020, consumer habits have changed even more in a matter of weeks, and the amount of online orders has increased massively. Providers of online intermediation services (also called online platforms) and online search engines (“Providers”) have become major economic players, crucial to the success of many businesses. While this has numerous advantages, such growth has also raised many questions and increased pressure for further regulation of the services rendered by Providers. The reality is that Providers offer their services in a discretionary, and sometimes aggressive, manner. Platforms like Amazon holding leading positions in the online market have enormous power over their sellers, which are dependent on them to remain afloat.

The P2B Regulation introduces the first set of EU rules applying to intermediation services, in particular framing the relationship between providers of online platforms and business users. The P2B Regulation aims to redress the imbalance between both actors, notably by ensuring the fair and transparent treatment of business users by Providers and creating a predictable and innovation-friendly regulatory environment within the EU.

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2020.07.16 – Luxembourg Newsflash – What’s new in e-commerce

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