US News Ministry of Justice wants to force Amazon and Co. to be more transparent

17:25  04 november  2020
17:25  04 november  2020 Source:   t3n.de

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Why do certain products appear higher up in the search than others? In the future, marketplaces like Amazon should answer this question more transparently.

Amazon und eBay sollen zu Hinweisen verpflichtet sein. © Primakov / Shutterstock Amazon and eBay should be obliged to provide information.

The Federal Ministry of Justice wants to force companies like Amazon and Ebay to "essential information obligations" on their online marketplaces. This emerges from the draft bill for a law in which the future contractual regulations will be laid down. The law implements an EU directive in Germany. The draft was released on Tuesday.

The marketplaces should therefore be obliged to "disclose the essential criteria of the ranking of search results and their weighting". Politicians are reacting to the trend that portals such as Amazon and Ebay are also huge product search engines and that many users cannot immediately see why certain products are at the top of the list of results.

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customers should be better protected

Amazon and Co. should in future also have to inform customers whether their potential contractual partners are entrepreneurs or consumers. Among other things, this plays a role in the warranty.

According to the draft, buyers of admission tickets who do not purchase the tickets from the organizer themselves, but from resellers via ticket exchanges, are also better protected. In future, the provider is to provide information about the original price of the admission ticket set by the organizer. The draft law also requires more transparency in the use of algorithms when calculating prices. The draft law provides for a duty to inform if a price has been personalized on the basis of an automated decision.

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At the same time, in a second law, the Ministry of Justice wants to extend traditional consumer rights when buying items such as washing machines or smartphones to digital content and services. "When consumers buy software or apps, it is unacceptable if they cannot use them for a longer period of time," said Federal Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD). The draft now obliges the sellers to provide free of charge function-maintaining updates and security updates.

No period specified for the update obligation.

However, the draft law did not specify exactly how long this update obligation should apply. In the case of sales contracts, it should apply “for a period that the consumer can reasonably expect”.

The warranty rights should also be available to consumers for free services in which personal data is made available instead of paying a price (“payment with data”). This also applies to the use of social networks.

The two ministerial drafts were published on the website of the Federal Ministry of Justice so that the “interested parties” in the legislative process have the opportunity to comment on them. dpa

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