eBay calls for end to "digital protectionism"

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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 They call for an end to “outdated restrictions on cross-border trade and increasing use of ‘selective distribution’ clauses prohibiting online sales of branded products”.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”.

2 Responses

  1. So, are Ebay going to tighten up the Vero program or is it that a few very large retailers are leaning on Ebay to enable them to sell more across the EU without getting shut down by brand owners.

    Especially if some of the giants that they’re trying to attract specialise in overstock branded goods.

    Ebay don’t do nowt for nowt.

  2. We are used to being told by suppliers that they will not allow us to sell their items on eBay. When contacting potential suppliers or meeting them at trade fairs, we always ask the ebay question and have had to develop a very thick skin.
    Quite often we imagine brand protection is at the heart of the issue. These companies have spent a long time and a lot of money buliding the brand and maybe they have an oudated? perception of ebay as a marketplace populated by sellers selling from bedrooms and garages, under the VAT radar, undercutting traditional suppliers and presenting the items with poor product shots and poor copy, the antithesis of what they are trying to achieve.
    We have also been hit by Vero’s completely out of the blue, whilst selling items purchased from reputable suppliers, hard to take and hard to argue. A very blunt instrument.
    We would love any move to make it easier to obtain good quality mechandise to sell on ebay at a fair price.


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