For the last two years, the European Commission (“EC”) has been carrying out a Sector Inquiry into e-commerce of consumer goods and digital content in the EU. As part of this, the EC has sent companies many questionnaires and, in response, received some 9,000 sales, distribution and licensing agreements.
The EC's Sector Inquiry primarily focused on potential restrictions of competition in e-commerce markets that unduly limit how goods and digital content are distributed in the EU. The inquiry resulted in a 16-page report (available here) that the EC submitted to the EU Council and the European Parliament in May 2017. This report integrates earlier reports (available here and here) and is accompanied by an EU Staff Working Document of some 300 pages (available here).
The object of this Alert is (i) to explain the EC's main concerns as regards consumer goods and digital content and (ii) to highlight the EC enforcement actions that the EC has already started. We then set out some conclusions, with a detailed presentation on the practical lessons, which is inserted in the PDF.