eBay welcomes landmark European Parliament vote on e-commerce

September 22, 2010

STRASBOURG, FRANCE - 22 September: eBay responds to the European Parliament\'s adoption of a Report on Completing the Internal Market for E-commerce. In a statement eBay said:

The European Parliament Report on Completing the Internal Market for E-commerce is a clear signal to the European Commission that more needs to be done to drive much-needed growth in online shopping. The Parliament sets out the clear benefits e-commerce and mobile commerce bring to consumers and businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Drafted by Pablo Arias Echeverria MEP, the Report also recognizes that online platforms play a major role by "... enabling market access by hundreds of thousands of SMEs, and offering consumers greater choice whilst... boosting trust..."

The European Parliament recognizes that e-commerce is part of the mainstream retail economy. It also stresses the global nature of the online economy and challenges the European Commission to ensure consumers can buy goods online from outside the EU.

Significantly, it sets out a number of areas where policymakers need to take more action to remove artificial barriers to e-commerce. Urging the European Commission to ensure new rules on selective distribution adopted earlier this year are properly enforced, the Parliament notes that, \'...existing vertical distribution agreements are often used to avoid or restrict online sales, thus denying retailers access to wider markets, undermining consumers\' right to a wider choice and better prices, and thus creating barriers to the expansion of commerce."

Noting that e-commerce can be crucial for the upcoming re-launch of the internal market, the Parliament asks the European Commission to fast-track legislative proposals and remove barriers to e-commerce by 2013. Stefan Krawczyk, eBay\'s Head of European Government Relations, said: "eBay has consistently campaigned for the removal of many of the barriers to e-commerce. Mr. Arias Echeverria\'s excellent report sides with consumers and small businesses and warns against business practices aimed at fragmenting European markets, limiting choice and maintaining higher prices. It will act as an important reference point for the European Parliament\'s future work on e-commerce."