Thuiswinkel.org offers a mediation service to online platforms. As an independent and impartial organization, it can resolve disputes between online e-commerce platforms and businesses without court intervention.
The EU Regulation on platform-to-business relations (P2B Regulation) was published on July 11, 2019. This regulation is not designed to restrict the power of international selling platforms, but rather provides that the (large) commercial marketplaces must be fairer and more transparent, which means giving greater consideration to the needs of (small) sellers on their platforms. The Regulation is a European-wide regulation, i.e., the rules are standardized for all platforms across the European Union.
Thuiswinkel.org as a mediator
Under the P2B Regulation, medium-sized and large platforms (with more than 50 FTEs and/or minimum revenue of €10 billion) are required to engage the services of two or more external mediation service providers. Thuiswinkel.org provides such a mediation service. As an independent and impartial organization, it can resolve disputes between online e-commerce platforms and businesses without court intervention. Both members of Thuiswinkel.org and other platforms can hire the services of Thuiswinkel.org to act as a third-party mediator.
What does the P2B Regulation involve exactly?
The Regulation provides guidance and options for businesses when they encounter problems on the platforms where they sell their products and services. In other words, it is designed to ensure a “fair, transparent and predictable business environment for smaller businesses and traders on online platforms.”
Some excerpts from the Regulation:
- Platforms are not authorized to suspend or terminate users’ accounts without stating clear reasons.
- Platforms must be more transparent in how they categorize goods and services on their websites.
- They must notify their users of any amendments to their terms and conditions.
- Platforms are required to create an internal complaint handling system and to engage the services of two or more external mediation service providers.
You will find further information about the P2B Regulation in the P2B Regulation Factsheet (in Dutch).
What is the role of Thuiswinkel.org?
Based on the rules outlined above or for other reasons, disputes may arise between an online platform and one or more online retailers that collaborate with the platform. If the parties concerned fail to reach a consensus, Thuiswinkel.org may be engaged as a mediator in the potential dispute between the parties. The purpose is to resolve the dispute without court intervention in a way that is acceptable to all parties involved.