Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, and Rakuten pledged to do better at removing dangerous product listings from their e-commerce platforms, having signed an agreement about that commitment to the European Union. The European Commission advocated for the move in recent times, describing the latest development as a major win for consumer rights and protections on the Old Continent. As per the terms of the new pledge, the four digital giants will respond to reports of dangerous product listings from EU authorities within two working days and act on notifications from consumers within five.
The agreement is only valid within the political bloc, having gone into effect yesterday. As part of the same consensus, the four shopping service providers pledged to invest in training their sellers to act in a proactive manner regarding consumer protection and leverage the EU's Rapid Alert System in order to stay up-to-date on recalled products and pull them from circulation without having to be warned to do so by European authorities. The package of measures also contains a pledge from the four e-commerce platforms to provide their customers with an accessible service for reporting dangerous product listings, though all four already do so. Authorities of the EU Member States will now also have single contact points for communicating with the four digital retailers regarding listing concerns, the EC said. The main idea behind the new policies is to provide online shoppers with the same protections they had come to expect from brick-and-mortar businesses.
Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, and Rakuten may all see the newly signed agreement as an opportunity to generate some goodwill from Brussels in the run-up to the creation of what's expected to be one of the toughest digital tax laws on the planet. The political bloc is planning on combating tax avoidance and European tax havens such as Ireland and Luxembourg by taxing revenue instead of profits, though it's still unclear when that it may end up codifying that concept.