EU to launch e-commerce competition inquiry

The investigation will look into why the sector isn't growing, despite more consumers heading online for purchases

ecommerce

The EU plans to take a closer look at cross-country e-commerce, after it was revealed online transactions were only growing very slowly in comparison to the number of overall transactions taking place.

In 2014, almost half of EU citizens bought products or services online, but only 15 per cent of the transactions used services in other EU states.

Although the EU has noted that part of this may be down to language barriers, consumer preferences and differences in legislation across member states, the body said it suspects some countries are restricting cross-border e-commerce, possibly by geo-blocking consumers from accessing their websites.

Additionally, retailers may only accept credit cards from the host nation, meaning they are unable to complete the purchase online and so will head elsewhere to find the same product - often paying more than on the original website. Not only is this bad cross-border business, it is also a bad experience for the consumer too.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestage, who is responsible for competition policy, said she will refer the inquiry the College of Commissioners and their findings will contribute to the commission's objectives of achieving a Digital Single Market.

Vestager said: "It is high time to remove remaining barriers to e-commerce, which is a vital part of a true Digital Single Market in Europe. The envisaged sector inquiry will help the commission to understand and tackle barriers to e-commerce to the benefit of European citizens and business."

Vestager hopes the study will determine where the key issue lies and will also help enforce competition law in the e-commerce sector.

The aims of the Digital Single Market are to make Europe more competitive in the global economy by boosting cross-country trade and eradicate geoblocking.

Featured Resources

Key considerations for implementing secure telework at scale

Identifying the security risks and advanced requirements of a remote workforce

Download now

The State of Salesforce 2020

Your guide to getting the most from Salesforce

Download now

Fast, flexible and compliant e-signatures for global businesses

Be at the forefront of digital transformation with electronic signatures

Download now

Rethink your cybersecurity strategy for the new world

5 steps to secure the enterprise and be fit for a flexible future

Download now

Recommended

Do we need an algorithm police?
artificial intelligence (AI)

Do we need an algorithm police?

22 May 2020
EU rebukes Mark Zuckerberg’s regulation proposals
Policy & legislation

EU rebukes Mark Zuckerberg’s regulation proposals

18 Feb 2020
Breaking up big tech 'will cause more problems', says EU
Policy & legislation

Breaking up big tech 'will cause more problems', says EU

8 Nov 2019

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

3 Aug 2020
How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

4 Aug 2020
Police use of facial recognition ruled unlawful in the UK
privacy

Police use of facial recognition ruled unlawful in the UK

11 Aug 2020