The European Commission (“EC”) announced on 2nd February 2017 that it launched 3 investigations with respect to certain anticompetitive practices in the e-commerce sector, says Lexology.
The Romanian Competition Council launched a sector inquiry in the online segment following the EC practice.
This was initially set to target the online sales of electronics and fashion products and, apparently, was extended to the majority online sold products.
The EC is investigating whether:
- certain consumer electronics producers breached the EU competition rules by restricting the ability of online retailers of setting their own prices for a variety of products, such as household appliances, notebooks, etc.;
- Valve Corporation, a video games producer, together with certain PC game publishers, infringed the competition rules by the use of an activation key for the video games sold;
- there are agreements between certain European tour operators and certain hotels, by which the parties may have prevented consumers from booking hotel accommodation at better conditions offered by tour operators in other countries simply because of the consumer’s nationality or place of residence.
It is likely that the Romanian Competition Council to finalize the sector inquiry in the next period and to issue some preliminary remarks or even recommendations for the market participants. It is possible that also targeted investigations to be launched, some following the footsteps of the EC cases.
Thus, it is advisable for both manufacturers and online retailers to thoroughly analyze their agreements covering the online sales and conditions allowing access on platforms as to avoid an in-depth investigation of the Romanian Competition Council.
Read more at Lexology