EU Considering Ecommerce Antitrust Probe

The European Commission has threatened to launch antitrust investigations into the ecommerce market. It conducted research that found that many online ecommerce sites are being forced to comply with unnecessary restrictions by manufacturers, resulting in decreased choice and higher prices for consumers. 40% of online retailers questioned said that manufacturers had recommended or forced them to sell items at a particular price, and almost 20% said that they had been forbidden to sell the items on online marketplaces such as eBay or Amazon. A further 10% said that had been forbidden to submit information to price comparison sites. Sales of digital products were also found to be potentially in violation of antitrust laws. 60% of copyright license agreements restricted sales to a single country. Another report is due to be published near the beginning of 2017. At that stage, the European Commission will decide whether or not to press charges against those companies it believes are breaking EU antitrust laws.