Online platforms—introduction

The following TMT practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Online platforms—introduction
  • Online platforms
  • Intermediaries
  • Online instant messaging services
  • Online marketplaces
  • Search engines
  • Social media platforms
  • Streaming media platforms
  • Video-sharing platform services
  • Video communication/conferencing platforms
  • More...

Online platforms—introduction

This Practice Note looks at the key definitions and terms used to describe platform solutions, and gives an explanation of the common types of platform and terms associated with them.

It also includes an explanation of the definitions, in each of the key pieces of legislation in the UK and the EU, used to determine the entities caught within the scope of that legislation.

It covers:

  1. Online platforms

  2. Intermediaries

  3. Online instant messaging services

  4. Online marketplaces

  5. Search engines

  6. Social media platforms

  7. Streaming media platforms

  8. Video-sharing platform services

  9. Video communication/conferencing platforms

  10. Key platform legislation

  11. EU E-Commerce Directive and the UK Electronic Commerce Regulations

  12. The EU and UK Platform-to-business (P2B) Regulations

  13. UK Online Safety Bill

  14. EU Digital Services Act

  15. EU Digital Markets Act

  16. EU Digital Single Market Copyright Directive

  17. EU Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive

Detailed consideration regarding electronic data interchanges or other platforms used to facilitate the computer-to-computer exchange of business or trading data and documentation is beyond the scope of this Practice Note.

Online platforms

Online platforms have seen significant growth in both economic and societal importance, in the last decade and particularly as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with public and political debate about their responsibilities and liabilities reaching unprecedented levels.

They have penetrated retail markets and communications networks; changing the way in which goods and services are bought and sold, and facilitating richer, content-driven forms

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