All Alerts & Newsletters

European Commission to Launch a Market Sector Inquiry Into E-Commerce

April 2015

The European Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, has announced that it intends to launch a sector inquiry on e-commerce in May this year. The "Digital Single Market" is one of the top priorities of the Juncker's Commission and, hence, competition enforcement in the Single Digital Market is also a priority for Commissioner Vestager. As previously done for the energy, food and pharmaceutical sectors, a market inquiry is a fact-finding exercise to help the Commission identify potential areas of concern in terms of competition law enforcement. In this case, the European Commission intends to focus on potential restrictions or distortions in online commerce.

We understand that the market inquiry will focus on distribution agreements, with particular regard to pricing, but geo-blocking and any other clauses restricting online cross-border trade of consumer products will also be targeted. Any company operating in the online sphere, in any sector whatsoever, is likely to receive a questionnaire from the Commission. This includes manufacturers, merchants of goods sold on line, companies that run online platforms, as well as holders of content rights and broadcasters. Based on the results of the inquiry, the Commission will determine whether further action is required and if so, which measures to take. Therefore, we recommend that companies respond to the Commission's questionnaire within the given timeframe.


Other Articles in this Month's Edition:


Email Twitter LinkedIn Facebook Google+

For more information, please contact the professional(s) listed below, or your regular Crowell & Moring contact.

Dr. Salomé Cisnal de Ugarte
Partner – Brussels
Phone: +32.2.214.2837
Email: scisnaldeugarte@crowell.com
Thomas De Meese
Partner – Brussels
Phone: +32.2.282.1842
Email: tdemeese@crowell.com
Grégoire Ryelandt
Counsel – Brussels
Phone: +32.2.214.2892
Email: gryelandt@crowell.com