Europe aims at competition inquiry e-commerce sector

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2 April, 2015

The Digital Single Market is a priority of the European Commission. Removing barriers to e-commerce is an important area of action.

Commissioner Vestager (competition) announced last week that she will propose the Commission to start an inquiry on measures that some companies may be taking to restrict cross-border e-commerce. She mentions technical limitations such as geo-blocking as example of those measures. Geo-blocking may prevent consumers from accessing digital services on the basis of their residence or credit-card details.

The Commissioner has at this stage yet not unfolded how she will bring reasons for these measures, such as the fight against fraud, in this inquiry.

Knowledge that the European Commission will gain through such a sector inquiry will according to Vestager contribute to enforcing competition law in the e-commerce sector. It can also help various legislative initiatives, which the Commission plans to launch to boost the Digital Single Market.

The proposal will be tabled to the European Commission in the coming weeks.

More information can be found here.

Jonathan Toornstra

Legal Consultant

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