After the amendments, CPC has the following powers:
1. to order a service provider to remove content or to restrict access to an online interface or to order the explicit display of a warning to consumers when they access an online interface;
2. to order a hosting service provider and electronic communication network service provider to remove, disable or restrict access to an online interface; or
3. where appropriate, to order domain registries or registrars to delete a fully qualified domain name and to allow the competent authority concerned to register it.
The competent authorities that wish to undertake the above-mentioned measures send a motivated request to the CPC. This can be done only after the actions undertaken by the respective authority gave no results. Such preliminary actions include:
1) the power to adopt interim measures to avoid the risk of serious harm to the collective interests of consumers;
2) the power to seek to obtain or to accept commitments from the trader responsible for the infringement covered by this Regulation to cease that infringement;
3) the power to receive from the trader, on the trader’s initiative, additional remedial commitments for the benefit of consumers that have been affected by the alleged infringement covered by this Regulation, or, where appropriate, to seek to obtain commitments from the trader to offer adequate remedies to the consumers that have been affected by that infringement;
4) where applicable, the power to inform, by appropriate means, consumers that claim that they have suffered harm as a consequence of an infringement covered by this Regulation about how to seek compensation under national law;
5) the power to order in writing the cessation of infringements covered by this Regulation by the trader;
6) the power to bring about the cessation or the prohibition of infringements covered by this Regulation;
7) the power to impose penalties, such as fines or periodic penalty payments, for infringements.
Only after the above measures give no effect, the respective authorities can request the CPC to restrict access to an interface or to order domain deletion.
The following authorities can request actions from the CPC:
1. The Executive Agency of Medicines;
2. The Communication Regulation Commission;
3. Chief Directorate “Civil Aviation Authority”;
4. The Commission for Protection of Competition;
5. "Railway Administration" Executive Agency;
6. The Council for Electronic Media;
7. “Maritime administration” Executive Agency;
8. "Automobile Administration" Executive Agency;
9. Bulgarian National Bank;
10. Ministry of tourism.
The measure against service providers are undertaken in a specific sequence.
1) First, the chairman of the CPC issues an order to the request of the respective authority, which instructs the service provider, liable for the infringement, to remove the infringing content from their platform or to explicitly display a warning to consumers when they access an the platform. The order is published on the website of the CPC on the day of its issue, and the service provider is immediately notified and obliged to conform with the order in a 3-day period starting from his notification.
2) Upon failure to comply with the CPC’s order, the chairman issues another order to hosting service providers and electronic communication network service providers to remove, disable or restrict access to the online interface. The order is published on the website of the CPC on the day of its issue. The hosing service providers are immediately notified by the CPC. The electronic communication network service providers are considered notified on the day the order was published. Hosting service providers and electronic communication network service providers are obliged to carry out the order in a 3-day period upon notification.
3) When the above measures gave no effect, the chairman issues an order to domain registries or registrars to delete a fully qualified domain name in a 3-day period upon notification.
As an additional measure, domain registrars are obliged to request the CPC’s consent upon receipt of application to register a domain of a service provider, who already has a domain deletion order under their name.
The order of the CPC’s chairman are subject to appeal pursuant to the Administrative procedure code. The appeal does not have suspensive effect.
It becomes clear that Internet regulations become more and more strict to service providers. State authorities and the CPC in particular have a wide toolbox of measures for direct intervention with online business. The measures are strict and can lead to significant loss to online service providers. Therefore, legal compliance remains the leading factor in a successful business and economic growth.
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