EU Commission Launching Antitrust Inquiry Into Ecommerce Sector

Ecommerce antitrust-probe

This might be good news or bad news for ecommerce owners, but on Wednesday European officials launched an antitrust investigation into whether large ecommerce stores were trying to make it more difficult for Europeans to purchase goods from other countries. The inquiry comes as the European Commission pushes towards tearing down the digital walls between the 28 EU countries.

According to Europe’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, the review will “focus on how electronics, clothing, shoes and online content are bought and sold online, and whether e-commerce companies had created artificial barriers that stopped Europeans from buying goods from other parts of the Continent.”

The inquiry comes as a part of an aggressive strategy to transform the European Union into a 21st century Digital Single Market, where customers are free to do their shopping no matter where they are located.

Even though it might come as a surprise, considering how much online shopping is done in the EU, almost 85% of all Europeans purchase their online products from local sellers rather than multinational sellers. This sometimes means customers end up paying much more for a product than they would it the same product was purchased from a neighboring country. Take a look at online stores such as Amazon or Apple, often customers pay a huge price difference depending on what region they live in.

The inquiry is expected to be completed as a final report by the end of March 2017.

What is your situation like? Are your customers from all around the globe, or do you see more localized shopping tendencies?

Feature image curtsey of Matt Yow

Catalin Zorzini

I'm a web design blogger and started this project after spending a few weeks struggling to find out which is the best ecommerce platform for myself. Check out my current top 10 ecommerce site builders.