European Parliament approves new ‘platform-to-business’ rules


The European Parliament has voted to approve its *other* big piece of new legislation that has significant implications for the music industry. That would be new regulations “to improve fairness and transparency of online platforms” – referred to as ‘platform-to-business’ legislation for short.

The rules will apply to technology companies running online platforms of all kinds: search engines, app stores, social networks, even voice assistants / smart speakers.

“The Regulation was designed with the millions of small and medium enterprises in mind, so that they will no longer be faced with unexplained account suspensions, opaque rankings in search results, unaffordable dispute resolutions and many other unfair practices,” said a joint statement from three senior European Commission figures involved in the legislation: Andrus Ansip, Elżbieta Bieńkowska and Mariya Gabriel.

Spotify and Deezer are among the companies to have lobbied in favour of the regulations – in their case, to avoid the potential for unfair treatment from companies like Apple, Google and Amazon, who also run rival music-streaming services. Spotify, of course, has a complaint in with the European Commission targeting Apple in particular, although the EC has yet to announce whether this will trigger a full investigation.

Stuart Dredge

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