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Enhancing the protection of EU consumers.
We are seeing a huge increase in people moving their businesses online. The new consumer omnibus regulations have now come into effect. This has modernized EU consumer protection rules and placed additional obligations on all of those conducting businesses online and offering digital services and even free services online. With a huge shift to online selling in the last few years and consequently a lathe spike due to COVID, the rules around offering online services has been overhauled.
Omnibus regulation widens consumer protection to include digital goods, content and services. This does not just apply to online shopping. All entities conducting business online, selling content and even SVOD services. The main changes are more transparency around price reduction claims, free digital services, verification of reviews and responsibilities for those pricing and targeted marketing.
Perhaps the most significant change is the enhanced enforcement powers with the introduction of GDPR-style fines of a minimum of 4% of a company’s annual turnover in the relevant member state. And while post-Brexit this does not apply to businesses trading exclusively in the UK, it does apply to UK businesses trading or offering online services in Europe.
For UK companies solely trading in the UK online, there is some new legislation in the pipeline. The Draft Digital Markets Competition and Consumer Bill, which is very much in draft form but likely will introduce similar rules and also substantial fines. This also includes addressing the subscription trap which is how many companies sell their services now. Early preparation is key to avoiding these sanctions.
The future is digital and we can help you prepare for that by ensuring you are compliant, reviewing your offering in-depth and guiding you through your online business.