Ever since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, came into force 14 months ago, ecommerce websites in Europe have recorded lower page views, site visits and revenue.
Laws and regulations
As ecommerce become an increasingly mature business, more and more laws and regulations come in place. This is also because Europe desperately wants to have one, unified ecommerce market. The Directive on Consumer Right is one of these examples. As of 13 June 2014 it replaced certain directives and it’s focused more on protecting the online consumer than the European Union did before.
The European Court of Justice has decided today that online retailers don’t need to provide a phone number, as long as customers are offered other ways to contact the ecommerce company.
The European elections take place between 23 to 26 May, in a time where Brexit and the growth of euroscepticism are hot topics. Pan-European ecommerce association Ecommerce Europe wants a level-playing field for the Digital Single Market and gives 10 recommendations for a better ecommerce industry in Europe.
The French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire wants a 3 percent tax on the French revenue of large internet companies, such as Amazon, Airbnb, Booking.com and Criteo. It looks like an EU-wide digital tax plan will be ditched next week.
The European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission want rules to make it easier for businesses and traders to use online marketplaces and platforms. They have now agreed to set up seven new rules to improve the fairness of online platforms’ trading practices.
Customers in Germany are insufficiently informed about the price of a product when they buy something using an Amazon Dash button. And this is in violation of the law, the Higher Regional Court of Munich revealed.
The European Commission has given fashion retailer Guess a fine worth almost 40 million euros (39,821,000 to be precise). The US company got the fine for restricting retailers from online advertising and selling cross-border to consumers in other EU countries. This is called geo-blocking and in breach of European competition rules.
In Europe, Google was forced to open up its shopping service to outside competitors. But now it seems that digital marketing agencies are profiting from the changed auction model instead of the traditional comparison shopping sites: 23 percent of all ads seem to be from marketing agencies.
The European Union has called an end to geoblocking for online shoppers. This means that ecommerce websites in the EU can no longer block visitors from other EU countries. The new law has come into force this week.
The Bundeskartellamt, whose task it is to protect competition in Germany, will examine how Amazon operates in Germany. The main concern is that Amazon is an online retailer itself, but it also has opened its German marketplace for external vendors. Is Amazon abusing its market position?
There are easily over one million fraudulent online stores in Germany. And more than 4.4 German consumers have become victims of this online fraud. Criminals manage to steal consumers’ money mostly by setting up online popup stores.
In Switzerland, many online consumers are often subject to unexpected additional fees. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs now wants to oblige foreign online retailers that are active in Switzerland to list all fees customers need to pay when they order online.
Online retailers aren’t allowed to state a product is available soon’ on a product page. It’s too vague. That’s what the Oberlandesgericht in Munich decided after it reviewed a case against MediaMarkt, which used this phrase to promote the Samsung Galaxy S6.
The Senate in France wants to introduce a tax on ecommerce. More specific, on deliveries from ecommerce companies to online consumers. The upper house of the French parliament wants to do this to protect city centers and smaller businesses across the country.
The European Union has seen a steady increase in the number of rival products showing up in Google Shopping’s search ads. But this doesn’t mean the internet giant has done enough to avoid more fines on top of the 2.4 billion euro penalty Google got last year.