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Lords Enquiry into online platforms holds first evidence session


A Lords Committee investigating online platforms such as Google, Uber and Amazon will next week, Monday 12 October, put consumer issues at the heart of its first evidence session.

The House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee is holding an inquiry into online platforms to investigate how they operate, how they use data, and, amongst other issues, what benefits and costs they give to consumers. The inquiry will examine the growing influence of online platforms, and considering the European Commission's consultation around further regulation.

Consumers will be the focus of the Committee's first evidence session, when Members will hear from academics and experts in the field of consumer rights and law.

The witnesses are Agustin Reyna, Chief Legal Officer, BEUC, (a European consumer organisation), Jason Freeman, Director, Consumer Law at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA),  Assistant Professor Annabelle Gawer, expert on platforms at Imperial College London and Joe McNamee, Executive Director, EDRI (a European digital rights organisation).

Questions which the witnesses are likely to face include:

  • What are the potential problems faced by consumers?
  • Data protection is cited as a consumer concern – do you think it's justified?
  • Are the regulations around data protection out of date?
  • How do consumers view shared economy platforms such as Uber?
  • How do Member State attitudes to online platforms differ?
  • Why is the European Commission interested in potential further regulation?
  • What should the Commission and UK Government do?

The evidence sessions will take place from 2.15pm, on Monday 12 October in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords.

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