Some manufacturers have started to restrict trade on the Internet, for example using contract terms to prevent merchants from selling their goods on Online-Marketplaces. A group of online entrepreneurs, led by Oliver Prothmann founder of chartixx, have launched Choice in Ecommerce, a petition to defend themselves against these restrictions and make sure that ecommerce remains a free and fair place for all types of businesses.
In 2012, Europe’s online revenue for goods and services was €311.6 billion and it is estimated that up to 2 million European jobs were created by ecommerce. The unilateral bans being imposed by certain manufacturers threaten all of this by cutting off sellers from their major sales channel, undermining their ability to use low cost and popular online platforms to serve customers in a competitive market. Consumers are being deprived of access to the transparent prices and increased choice that they expect from ecommerce.
If online retailers can’t sell the products people want they go out of business. Even for shops that have an offline presence, these bans are blocking a major and low cost sales channel. These bans also damage innovation. Economic growth will be led by emerging technologies like mobile commerce, as more and more consumers want to shop online whenever, wherever they want. Mobile commerce revenues across Europe are expected to rise from €1.7 billion in 2011 to €19.2 billion in 2017. All this is at threat if there are not enough fast-moving agile online sellers left to come up with new ideas because manufacturers have succeeded in taking complete control of Internet sales.
“Ecommerce as we know it is under threat” says Oliver Prothmann, “Manufacturers must refrain from placing across-the-board prohibitions and limitations on ecommerce. Policy-makers must deal effectively with unnecessary restrictions of ecommerce. We’ve launched a petition calling on all parties to act appropriately”.
The petition calls for:
Manufacturers to refrain from placing across-the-board prohibitions and limitations on eCommerce. We ask that they collaborate with all stakeholders, especially sellers and marketplace providers, to use the already existing and excellent methods to present their products on the Internet in the best possible way.
National and European policy-makers and public authorities to deal effectively with unnecessary restrictions of eCommerce, such as sales bans on online marketplaces.
If you agree you can sign the petition on the Choice in Ecommerce website.