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EBU calls for ambitious EU rules on online platforms

09 September 2020
EBU calls for ambitious EU rules on online platforms

As the EU prepares to make new rules on online platforms in its landmark Digital Services Act, the EBU has given detailed input to a public consultation on how those rules should be shaped. 

In a submission to the European Commission’s consultation, we stress that the adoption of meaningful EU rules for global online platforms is absolutely essential. As public service media, we want audiences to be able to access and find our content and services online. Our view is that it is no longer tenable to leave it solely up to major online platforms to decide whether and how content is found and shared. Driven by their own global, commercial motivations, we believe that online platforms do not serve citizens in the public interest. 

“We support the European Commission’s plan for an ambitious Digital Services Act” says Richard Burnley, EBU Legal and Policy Director. “It must enable future generations to have continued access to the trusted news and information and the rich plurality of views that public service media offers.”

Our submission calls for rules to ensure: 

  • Respect for media’s editorial freedom and integrity
  • Increased responsibility of platforms to act against illegal and harmful content online 
  • Prominence on online platforms of media content of general interest and clear and correct attribution of media content and brands 
  • Improved algorithmic transparency and accountability  

In addition, we call for rules to tackle the issue of online platforms as “gatekeepers”. Such platforms have gained considerable economic power by becoming gateways through which users access content. They control vast amounts of data and are not subject to robust regulation. Through the Digital Services Act, the EU must establish vigorous rules to address problems stemming from dependence on global platforms and to promote fairness, competition, innovation, plurality and choice for European citizens. Future EU Competition rules such as the New Competition Tool - for which the EBU has made recommendations - must also achieve these goals.

An Executive Summary of the EBU’s submission is available to download.

The full submission is also available.  

Read a summary of the EBU's recommendations on the proposed New Competition Tool

Relevant links and documents


Claire Rainford

Head of Corporate Communications