EU to Deliver Report on Anticompetitive Practices in Cross-Border E-Commerce
March 14, 2016
Preliminary results of an EU investigation into the barriers facing companies that want to engage in cross-border e-commerce, launched nearly a year ago , will be released Friday and could result in action against some businesses for anticompetitive practices, according to Margrethe Vestager, European Competition Commissioner. The investigation focused on cross-border online trade in the EU, specifically examining electronics, clothing and digital content, for practices such as price fixing or blocking sales to consumers in certain countries.
While merchant groups defend geo-blocking as a valuable tool to curtail fraud, other European groups, including the European Parliament , have criticized the practice as being harmful to consumers. While it is unclear if businesses that currently engage in the practice will face sanctions, Vestager told media members at a conference in Germany on Thursday that, subsequent to the analysis in the forthcoming report, “maybe we will look into opening cases.”