EC commences e-commerce sector inquiry - DAC Beachcroft

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EC commences e-commerce sector inquiry

Published On: 18 June 2015

The European Commission is looking into identifying possible competition issues in the e-commerce environment and has launched a sector inquiry. The inquiry will be focusing on potential anti-competitive barriers put up by companies in respect of online trade in goods and services where e-commerce is most extensive, including digital content.

The Commission has noted that despite the fact that increasingly more goods and services are traded over the internet, cross-border online sales within the EU are growing relatively slowly.

Under EU antitrust rules the Commission can require companies to supply certain information or documents as part of a sector inquiry. The outcome of the inquiry is intended to contribute to better enforcement of competition law in the e-commerce sector. The Commission has stated that it expects to publish a preliminary report for consultation in mid-2016, and the final report is expected in the first quarter of 2017.

To view the European Commission's press release, please click here.

What action could be taken to manage risks that may arise from this development?

No action until report published.