The European Commission (the Commission) is taking steps to advance its vision of what it calls a “Digital Single Market” that will ensure “free movement of goods, persons, services and capital”; easy access to and use of online content and services; and fair competition in the digital marketplace, regardless of consumers’ and businesses’ nationality or place of residence. The Commission will investigate contractual, geographic barriers to e-commerce transactions, which may fragment digital markets in the European Union.
Depending on the investigation’s ultimate findings, the Commission may take several measures, including the following:
- Prohibitions on restricting online content and services on a geographic basis
- Telecommunication and online platform market inquiries
- Uniform consumer and contract rules
- Data protection reforms
- Simplified value-added tax rules
- Faster development of uniform standards
- Measures to help businesses integrate and harness new technologies
Companies should monitor future developments regarding the Commission’s pursuit of a Digital Single Market as they unfold.