Online businesses urge EU to rethink definition of "active end user"

BRUSSELS, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Eight major online businesses urged EU governments on Wednesday to reconsider who counts as an “active end user” of their services, fearing the definition proposed in planned new competition rules could disadvantage them.

The EU is preparing a Digital Markets Act (DMA) which will create rules for the biggest digital companies like Google, Amazon or Facebook, with the aim of ensuring fair competition. The number of active end users will be one of the criteria for identifying the biggest players, under the proposals.

In a letter to EU ministers responsible for the DMA, called the Council, the heads of, Zalando ,, Allegro, eMag, Delivery Hero, Vinted and Wolt said not all who visited their websites became customers.

“We are alarmed about recent proposals in the Council, which define ‘active end users’ inaccurately as ‘visitors’ for all transaction-based platforms, regardless of their size,” the letter said.

“Using website or app ‘visitors’ as the basis for counting the number of ‘active end users’ dramatically distorts the relevant user numbers,” they said.

The letter said that the remuneration the companies receive for a purchase on their platforms generates the largest share of revenue and that “active customers” not “visitors” were what mattered.

The Council had no immediate comment on the letter.

EU lawmakers have to thrash out the draft DMA with EU countries before it becomes law, possibly in 2023. (Reporting by Jan Strupczewski Editing by Nick Tattersall)