Why it´s important

Platform bans hurt consumers

People want to shop in places they like and trust. They like to shop online because they get more transparency and more choice. Take that away and who gains? Not consumers and not retailers. The European Commission says consumers have at least twice as much choice when shopping online as they do offline. They can also make savings in 13 out of 15 products categories, compared with an offline shop. Overall, consumers can save about €11.7 billion a year thanks to online shopping. We’re all facing tough times and that is a lot of money!

Platform bans harm small businesses

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 cutting off a major sales channel. eCommerce means retailers reaching more buyers, not just in their own country but across borders. More than that: Online trade means lower transaction costs (including marketing, sales, transaction processing), smaller overheads, and reduced inventory and labor costs. As the economy of Europe continues to suffer should we really be restricting entrepreneurial freedom and taking options away from small businesses that are already struggling to survive?

Platform bans kill innovation

As well as the harm done to consumers and retailers by these bans, there will be damage to innovation. E-commerce Europe has reported that Europe is now the biggest B2C eCommerce market in the world: in 2012 European B2C eCommerce turnover reached €311.6 billion. Further growth will be led by mobile commerce, as more and more consumers want to shop online whenever, wherever they want. That leads to innovation in technology and ways of doing business. Will there be enough fast-moving agile sellers left to come up with new ideas if manufacturers succeed in taking complete control of internet sales? And with customers unable to buy as well as retailers unable to sell, what chance does Europe have of leading the world in eCommerce or mCommerce?