The Digital Services Act

The Digital Services Act (DSA) regulates intermediary platforms that connect consumers with goods and services.

What is it?

The Digital Services Act (DSA) is an EU legislation that regulates how intermediary platforms that connect consumers with goods and services, like online marketplaces, moderate content on their websites.

The framework’s rules address how platforms offering services to businesses and consumers based in the EU must moderate illegal, misleading, and/or offensive content on their sites, including how users should be able to report potentially illegal content they find online.

When does the DSA come into effect?

The rules applicable to online platforms will start to apply from 17 February 2024.

What is Expedia Group doing about the DSA?

Expedia Group has evaluated the legislation and is making changes to our B2C sites, template products, travel agent products, and APIs to assist our partners in their compliance.

What does this mean for Rapid API partners?

The two areas of the DSA most impactful on our relationship with Rapid API partners are:

Content moderation: Requirements around how users should be able to report potentially illegal content provided via Rapid API. To help you comply, we will be providing Rapid API partners with an intake form on Partner Portal to submit details of potentially illegal content to be reviewed by Expedia Group.

Traceability: Requirements to provide more information about our professional suppliers worldwide. To help you comply we will be providing extra fields in Rapid API related to our suppliers, such as their business registration number (if they have one). The specific parameters below will be added to the trader_information object in the Shop and Book APIs.

ParameterType
business_register_namestring
business_register_numberstring
self_certificationboolean

As with the recently implemented New Deal for Consumers legislation, it is your responsibility to ensure you are taking steps to communicate to customers and comply with these new requirements. For more information please see this article and consult your local legal authority if you have questions about your specific situation or relationship to the law. We will provide you with more information in the upcoming weeks so you can start planning your development resources before the legislation starts to apply.

What does this mean for our technology partners?

If you control a Rapid API partner’s site/booking tool that transacts within the EU you will need to make these updates and if the user interface is controlled by the partner, since the partner will be updating their display, we will need you to start coding these new fields as soon as possible.

The specific parameters below will be added to the trader_information object in the Shop and Book APIs.

ParameterType
business_register_namestring
business_register_numberstring
self_certificationboolean

Start allocating resources to these updates so they are ready before the legislation starts to apply.

Content reporting tool for Rapid API partners

Rapid API will provide a reporting mechanism by January, prior to the DSA coming into effect.

The intake form, which will be available in Portal, will allow Rapid API partners to report problems with Rapid API-provided content. Rapid API teams will then investigate and respond back to you so your teams can inform the reporter of the content issue and track it.

Penalty for non-compliance

Fines for non-compliance with the Digital Services Act can reach up to 6 percent of global annual revenue.

New fields in the Rapid API response

The new fields (business_register_name, business_register_number, and self_certification) will appear in the trader_ information section in the Shop and Book APIs.

Example:

{ 
  "status": "available", 
  ... 
  "trader_information": { 
    "traders": [ 
      { 
        "name": "Test Property Name", 
        "address": { 
          "line_1": "123 Main St", 
          "city": "Springfield", 
          "state_province_code": "MO", 
          "postal_code": "65804", 
          "country_code": "US" 
        }, 
        "business_register_name": "A Real Registry", 
        "business_register_number": "72973910d", 
        "self_certification": true, 
        "phone": "1-417-555-1212", 
        "right_to_withdraw_message": "The right of withdrawal under European consumer law does not apply when you book accommodation. Supplier cancellation policy will apply " 
      } 
    ], 
    "terms_and_conditions": "https://forever.travel-assets.com/flex/flexmanager/mediaasset/618796-0_2-UnitedKingdom_en.pdf" 
  }, 
  ... 
}

Please note that (i) while Expedia will investigate content flagged to us by you, we are not responsible for your compliance with the DSA; and (ii) we cannot provide legal advice on your DSA compliance. We recommend that you assess the impact of the DSA on your own business and seek independent advice if needed.

FAQs

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What is the DSA?

DSA refers to the Digital Services Act (Regulation (EU) 2022/2065) which is an EU regulation setting out a number of requirements for intermediary platforms, such as Expedia Group, which aims to build a framework around how illegal content on intermediary platforms should be tackled in the EU. The DSA’s objective is to promote a transparent and safe online environment, and to define responsibilities and accountability for a range of digital service providers.

There are three main types of DSA obligations:

  • Content moderation: Requirements around how users should be able to report illegal content that they think they have found on Expedia Group.
  • Traceability: Requirements around information that needs to be gathered from all professional suppliers worldwide that wish to offer services on Expedia Group’s EU point of sale.
  • Transparency: An annual reporting requirement.

For more information please see this article.

What businesses are in the scope of the DSA?

All businesses are in the scope of the DSA, if they are visible on an EU point of sale.

Which countries are in scope of DSA?

The DSA covers the EU which means the following countries and territories:

Country
Austria
Belgium
Bulgaria
Croatia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Ireland
Italy
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Netherlands
Poland
Portugal
Republic of Cyprus
Romania
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden

How do I know if the DSA impacts me?

The DSA impacts any business that has a point of sale in the EU, irrespective of where your business is based.

What types of content can be considered potentially illegal under the DSA?

The following types of content can be considered potentially illegal under the DSA:

  • Offensive or discriminatory content: This can include pictures, listing details, reviews, or communications with the supplier.
  • Fraudulent content: This can be used to report suppliers that don’t exist, unauthorized listings, requests for payments outside of Expedia, or personal contact information included with property information.
  • Intellectual property: Copyright, trademark, or patent violations.
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