Single Digital MarketEuropean Council presents new rules for contracts for supply of digital content

Today, the European Council presented its position on the directive on contracts for the supply of digital content and services between businesses and consumers in the EU. With these new rules set out, the aim is to provide a high level of protection and legal certainty for European consumers, especially when buying cross-borders.

These are the major elements of the Council’s new rules:

  • Scope of the directive: Embedded digital content, such as “over the top” interpersonal communication services (OTTs), bundle the processing of personal data. In this regard, consumers should be entitled to contractual remedies not only under contracts where they pay a price for digital content or services but also in cases where they just provide personal data that will be processed by suppliers.
  • Remedies for lack of supply and non-conformity: Suppliers should receive a "second chance" in case of lack of supply before the contract can be terminated. In case of non-conformity this provides more flexibility for the implementation at national level by clarifying conditions for the use of different remedies rather than establishing a hierarchy between them.
  • Period of the reversal of the burden of the proof: The burden of proof for lack of conformity rests on the supplier for one year.

Joseph Muscat, president of the Council, commented: "Be it online music and films, Apps, services such as Facebook or YouTube, these new rules will give more certainty to consumers when purchasing cross-border. It is an ambitious yet a delicate and balanced compromise that is about guaranteeing rights for European consumers while allowing for the possibility to create new business opportunities for EU companies through the promotion of innovation and competition."

Source: European Council

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