Back in March, the European Commission announced a proposal for an ecommerce sector antitrust inquiry. It said at the time that there were indications that some companies could be taking measures to restrict cross-border ecommerce, and that the inquiry would focus on better identifying and addressing such measures.
“It is high time to remove remaining barriers to e-commerce, which is a vital part of a true Digital Single Market in Europe,” said Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. “The envisaged sector inquiry will help the Commission to understand and tackle barriers to e-commerce to the benefit of European citizens and business.”
A lot of ecommerce businesses have been getting questioned by the EU as part of the probe, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, which says:
The European Commission, the bloc’s top antitrust regulator, sent out the first batch of questionnaires last week to businesses in all 28 EU countries. More than 2,000 businesses are expected to be questioned as part of the probe, including online marketplaces; Internet streaming services; content producers; manufacturers that sell goods online; as well as broadcasters.
One executive at a U.S.-based Internet company who didn’t want to be identified said the questionnaires were “quite lengthy” and had been sent to “everyone and their brother.”
The publication managed to get its hands on a copy of the questionnaire, which has over 150 pages. It reportedly says it aims ti give regulators a “better understanding of e-commerce-related business practices as they affect providers of digital content.”
According to the EU, about half of EU consumers shopped online in 2014, but only 15% of them bought online from a seller based in another EU Member State.
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