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EC investigates cross-border e-commerce market

08 May 2015 - 12:16 by Simon Crisp

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A new investigation into the European e-commerce market has been launched by the EC this week, in an attempt to look at why people are reluctant to shop online across national borders.

The issue arises from the fact that consumers in certain EU countries will pay less for the same products than those based elsewhere on the continent, even if they are using the same major e-commerce platform from the likes of Amazon or eBay.

Regulatory red tape is thought to be to blame, which is why the EC’s investigative team is hoping to come to solid conclusions about what can be done to grease the wheels of cross-border online shopping.

Retailers will be quizzed about their current practices and issues, such as VAT, will be taken into account, since various factors can play a part in altering the price of certain products from country to country.

Ideally, anyone in an EU nation will be able to carry out safe shopping online with a retailer and get products delivered to their home, no matter where the retailer happens to be based. And with more competition, the prices that people in the UK pay would ideally decline.

The probe that the EC is conducting into the European e-commerce market will last for the coming 12 months and a report is set to be compiled by the middle of next year, so consumers should not expect things to change dramatically in the short term.

However, the power of online shopping in the UK and the potential for expanding the market to other nations will help the economy immensely, as well as enhancing the experience and lowering e-commerce costs for shoppers. So hopefully, any findings will ultimately benefit Britain in a number of key ways.