On 10 May 2017, the Commission published the final report following the conclusion of its e‑commerce sector inquiry.
The Commission launched the e-commerce sector inquiry in May 2015 in the context of its digital single market strategy. During the inquiry, the Commission gathered evidence from nearly 1,900 companies operating in e-commerce of consumer goods and digital content and analysed around 8,000 distribution and license contracts.
In publishing the report, the Commission said the insight gained from the sector inquiry will enable it to target EU competition law enforcement in EU e-commerce markets, which will include opening further investigations. In February 2017, the Commission opened three separate investigations into holiday accommodation, PC video games distribution and consumer electronics pricing practices that may limit competition.
The Commission also name-checked several companies it said had reviewed their commercial practices on their own initiative. This includes companies in the clothing industry and other retail sectors.
The report covers consumer goods and digital content and provides a detailed analysis of practices in these markets and the competition law concerns that may arise. It is essential reading for any company selling via e-commerce in the EU, whether directly or through distributors.