Friday, August 21, 2015
The Commission's E-Commerce Sector Inquiry: Analysis of Legal Issues and Suggested Practical Approach
Lars Kjolbye, Alessio Aresu and Sophia Stephanou, describe The Commission's E-Commerce Sector Inquiry: Analysis of Legal Issues and Suggested Practical Approach.
ABSTRACT: The Commission has recently launched a sector inquiry into e-commerce, focussing on restrictions in on-line sales of consumer goods and on-line distribution of content. On-line sales models raise issues as to the applicability of Article 101, specifically in relation to the existence of an agreement between separate undertakings, the presence of an agreement (as opposed to unilateral action), and the existence of an agency arrangement. Competition authorities have recently considered the application of competition rules to on-line sectors, but enforcement activity has been inconsistent. Article 102 could also be used as an enforcement instrument against unilateral behaviour by on-line platforms, although its application would entail complexities.