On 24 September, eBay and ten other online marketplaces* shared a letter with policymakers from the European Parliament and Council of the EU on the Digital Services Act (DSA) proposal. We expressed our strong concern about recently proposed amendments to the DSA in the European Parliament and the Council and called upon these institutions to reject them.
If adopted, these amendments would impose far-reaching due diligence obligations and a disproportionate liability regime specific to marketplaces, separate from that of other online intermediaries, ultimately hurting the small businesses we host. Specifically, these amendments, if adopted, would:
- reinforce the dominant position of gatekeeper platforms as these would be the only intermediaries with enough resources and power to comply – forcing European sellers to surrender their business independence to these platforms.
- lead to blocking of perfectly legitimate sellers as the new regime would force marketplaces to act against sellers for even the slightest involuntary mistake.
- lead to blocking of legal content as requirements to detect and remove illegal content will force marketplaces to rely on imperfect automated tools and potentially abusive third-party reports.
- shift e‐commerce to social media as they remain outside the new rules, effectively undermining consumer protection and reducing their possibilities to seek redress.
While we agree that the role and responsibility of online marketplaces need to be reviewed in light of a changing retail landscape, new obligations and liability for online marketplaces should be proportionate and workable. They should be made after carrying out a thorough impact assessment and within the framework of appropriate vertical legislation, such as the upcoming General Product Safety Regulation. The DSA is not the right place for this.
*Back Market, Delcampe, Etsy, ManoMano, Mirakl, OLX Group, Otto Group, Rakuten, Schwarz Group, Vestiaire Collective