"In order to have an effective reaction, it is sometimes necessary to work with various commitments made by different actors, such as through a code of conduct, but also to implement mandatory regulation to ensure that everyone applies the same rules," argued European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders in an interview with Lusa and three other European media outlets in Brussels.
In this interview on the "New Consumer Agenda", presented today by the European Commission, the person responsible for this guardianship insisted that it is necessary to "increase the scope [of the measures] to all platforms", asking them to "do more", namely the 'giants' of e-commerce such as Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google and Alibaba. "It's not because we already have [voluntary] commitments from the biggest platforms that this is enough," Added Didier Reynders.
Also concerned are other major e-commerce platforms such as Allegro, Cdiscount, MS Europe, Rakuten, Verizon Media (owner of Yahoo!) and Wish. "I must say that we have had a good collaboration with the largest platforms on the fight against these pandemic-related schemes and fraud, but it will be better to define mandatory regulation to extend the scope to all platforms," Said Didier Reynders.
This is, from the outset, "imposing sanctions if a platform refuses to participate in the fight against fraud for consumers or in cases of misinformation [...] or even prohibiting activities of this platform in the future", pointed out the European Commissioner for Justice.
While acknowledging that these 11 e-commerce platforms have been removing "millions and millions of ads" related to covid-19, Didier Reynders admitted he is "afraid that there will be the same kind of abuse and fraud with testing and, who knows later, regarding vaccines".
"I can make a comparison with the issue of misinformation on the platforms and the circulation of fake news about the pandemic. Of course, it is important to create a code of conduct, to have the participation of different platforms, but in the end, there must be mandatory regulation", reinforced the responsible, advocating "the same protection for consumers 'online' that exists 'offline'".
The "New Consumer Agenda", released today, sets out the vision for EU consumer policy from 2020 to 2025, with a view to ensuring greater protection and safeguarding of citizens in purchases and other services within the Community. This package of measures takes into account the lessons learned from the covid-19 crisis, which has led to increased fraud and abusive commercial practices. When it comes to platforms, the big goal is "to protect consumers from fraud, abuse and exponential price increases," Concluded Didier Reynders.