Friday, February 17, 2017
Thomas Kramler, DG Competition describes The European Commission's E-commerce Sector Inquiry.
ABSTRACT: E-commerce in the EU has grown steadily over the past years. Today, the EU is the largest e-commerce market in the world. In total, 53 per cent of the EU population shopped online in 2015. The rapid development of e-commerce affects both consumers and businesses alike. The enhanced transparency in online markets lowers search costs for consumers who are now able to instantaneously obtain and compare product and price information online. This provides consumers with better choice at better prices as the price transparency leads to more intensive price competition. For businesses, e-commerce brings opportunities in terms of wider reach of potential customers but also challenges in terms of preserving the brand image, the quality of distribution, and guarding against free-riding. EU competition policy and enforcement needs to be in sync with these new market realities.