[Abstract(Law)] Transparency requirements for rankings on online platforms and their limitations: Focusing on comparison with EU law

  • DATE WRITTEN : 2022-05-14
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Today, online platforms provide a \'search service\' so that consumers can easily decide whether to purchase or not through the \'ranking\' of goods and product suppliers. However, the probability that a certain product is actually clicked depends on where it is located in the search rankings in many cases. This may influence a significant impact on a consumer\'s purchasing decision. In addition, those who use the online platform for business have an interest in optimizing search rankings. However, serious problems can arise when online platform operators remain silent about the criteria for determining search rankings or provide false information. Accordingly, in this paper, the requirements and limitations of ranking transparency in online platforms were reviewed with comparison with the EU P2B Regulation. After that, this paper provides the implications for the draft bills currently in progress in Korea.

First of all, it is not clear what to be disclosed under the Korea Fair Trade Commission\'s Online Platform Fairness Act when compared with the EU P2B Regulation. Also, personalized search rankings are commercialized should be taken into account, and that information on criteria for determining search rankings should always be kept up to date. Lastly, as in the EU example, it is necessary to set the limit for securing search ranking transparency by using the concept of trade secret under the Korean Unfair Competition Prevention Act, and to clarify that it is not subject to disclosure if there is a possibility of manipulation of the search ranking

key words: online platform, ranking, search results, parameter, trade secrets

Shindong Jung
Professor, School of Law, Gangneung-Wonju National University

(Journal of Korean Distribution Law, Vol. 8, December 2021)
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