Removing anti-competition practices in e-commerce
13 May, 2017
In a recent report, the Commission identified business practices that may restrict competition in the e-commerce sector, the EU press service reported. The findings help in enforcing the EU antitrust rules in e-commerce markets and have already prompted companies to review their practices. “Certain practices by companies in e-commerce markets could limit consumer choice and prevent lower prices online. At the same time, there is a need to balance the interests of both online and 'brick-and-mortar' retailers for the benefit of consumers,” Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.
One of the main goals of the Commission's Digital Single Market strategy is to ensure better access for consumers and businesses to goods and services. The e-commerce sector inquiry complements the Commission's legislative proposals in this regard. The objective of the sector inquiry was to allow the Commission to identify possible competition concerns in European e-commerce markets.
The insight will enable the Commission to strengthen EU antitrust enforcement in European e-commerce markets. In February, the Commission already opened three separate investigations into holiday accommodation, PC video games distribution and consumer electronics pricing practices that are limiting competition.
Furthermore, the sector inquiry has prompted companies to review their commercial practices on their own initiative. The Commission welcomes that companies in the clothing industry - Mango, Oysho and Pull & Bear, and Dorothy Perkins and Topman, but also other such as De Longhi and Manfrotto have reviewed their practices.
The report confirms that the growth of e-commerce over the last decade had a significant impact on companies' distribution strategies and consumer behaviour.