The Digital Economy Act was adopted October 7, 2016

The Digital Economy Act was adopted October 7, 2016.

This new reform modifies French Consumer Code.

It gives a legal definition to online platforms.

Article L. 111-7 Consumer Code provides that : « an online platform operator is any individual or legal entity offering a professional basis, remunerated or not, a communication service to the public online based on:

1. The ranking or SEO, using computer algorithms, content, goods or offered or posted by others;

2. Or the relationship of several parties for the sale of property, provision of a service or exchange or sharing of content of a good or service.  »

A decree should come end of Q1 2017 and should give details on the following.

Any online platform operator must deliver to the consumer a fair, clear and transparent:

1. The terms and conditions of the intermediation service it offers and the SEO terms, classification and dereference content, goods or services to which the service provides access;

2. The existence of a contractual relationship, a shareholder relationship or remuneration for his benefit, since they influence the ranking or SEO content, goods or services offered or made available online;

3. The quality of the advertiser and the rights and obligations of the parties in civil and tax matters, when consumers are put in contact with professionals or non-professionals.

The decree will also specify for any platform comparator, to consumers information upon the elements of this comparison and what is advertising within the meaning of Article 20 of Law No. 2004-575 of 21 June 2004 confidence in the Digital economy ( « LCEN »), even though a decree on this issue had been more than recently enacted (Decree No. 2016-505 of 22 April 2016, cf.

The decree shall also deal with the conditions under which the online platform operator shall make available to professionals, vendors and service providers linked to consumers, a space for communicating to consumers contractual information (on the conditions of sale, services, right of withdrawal, codes of conduct, termination provisions, ADRs… – Articles L. 221-5 and L. 221-6).


Frédéric Fournier

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