Liability of online intermediaries: should exceptionalism end?

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12/09/2018 - 14:00 to 17:30
Le Bouche à Oreille

Today, the E-Commerce Directive limits the liability of online intermediaries. This regime dates back to 2000, when the EU wanted to promote the then-nascent E-commerce platforms, to protect freedom of expression and boost the internal market.

15 years later, online intermediaries have significantly evolved. With their significant economic position comes the question of whether the limited liability regime belongs to a bygone era. Some are calling for a general reform ending ‘exceptionalism’, while others demand targeted changes providing exceptions to the limited liability.

Responding to those calls, the Commission has proposed changes to the limited liability regime with recent legislative and non-legislative initiatives such as those for media services, for copyright reform or to better tackle illegal online content.

On Wednesday 12 September, CERRE will present the policy recommendations of its new report ‘Liability of online intermediaries: should exceptionalism end?’

This research looks at whether the existing distinctions of the E-Commerce Directive are sufficiently clear and applicable to today’s online intermediaries. It also examines the coherence between the principles and the obligations of the E-Commerce Directive and the recent initiatives of the Commission regarding the liability of platforms, and discusses the incentive effects of the limited liability regime on platforms’ design and competition.

Join key actors from the digital sector, including representatives of internet platforms, telecoms operators, regulatory authorities, European policymakers and academic experts for an afternoon of frank discussion and debate on this timely topic.

*The number of seats at this Executive Seminar is limited. Please submit your registration request, and if confirmed you will receive an email with more details in the coming weeks.*





Welcome & introduction 

Bruno Liebhaberg

Director General,



Keynote speech
Presentation: ‘Liability of Internet Platforms: should exceptionalism end?’

Presentation of the findings of the CERRE report:

Professor Miriam Buiten

University of Mannheim



Professor Alexandre de Streel

Joint Academic Director, CERRE
Professor, University of Namur




Panel discussion: ‘Liability of Internet Platforms: should exceptionalism end?’


 See confirmed discussants below

Coffee break
Panel discussion: ‘Liability of Internet Platforms: should exceptionalism end?’ [Cont.]


Cocktail reception

Confirmed discussants



Stephen Collins

Director, Public Policy EMEA,
Snap Inc.



Lisa Felton

Head, Services Regulation, 



Elin Nielsen

Head, EU Affairs, 



William Scrimshaw

Director, EU Government Affairs,



Werner Stengg (TBC)

Head of Unit 'E-Commerce & Platforms',
DG CNECT, European Commission



Wednesday 12 September 2018, 14.00-17.30,
Le Bouche à Oreille

CERRE members and nominated guests receive priority when registering. All other registrations are provisional until confirmed by email by CERRE. If you have any questions about your registration, or do not receive a confirmation email, please contact


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