eBay are lobbying the European Parliament for a change to laws which allow manufacturers to maintain different prices for the same goods in different EU countries. eBay say that consumers in the UK, France and Germany could save an average of 17% if they were allowed to shop online without restrictions. They call for an end to “outdated restrictions on cross-border trade and increasing use of ‘selective distribution’ clauses prohibiting online sales of branded products”.
Doug McCallum, SVP of eBay Europe, said that differing rules across the European community allow “too much wiggle room for certain manufacturers to restrict online buying and selling, which we believe can be used to control or unduly influence the market.” eBay watchers will recall that eBay and sellers have been sued by manufacturers wishing to control the distribution of their stock.
Charlie McCreevy, European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services, has spoken out in favour of eBay’s proposals, saying “it is up to each and every one of us to do our bit to allow the internal market to work as well in cyber space as it does here on solid ground”.