"Ban the ban" – Thousands of online sellers sign petition for free trade on the internet

Over 5,000 signatures in a few days against sales bans of some manufacturers


Berlin, 1st August 2013 – An increasing number of online sellers support the “Choice in eCommerce” petition for free and fair trade. In just two weeks around 5,000 people have signed the petition online and every day there are more. By signing the petition these online sellers are mobilising across Europe against the online sales bans imposed by some manufacturers. Small and medium-sized sellers on online marketplaces are particularly affected by these constraints, a fact sadly shown by recent cases of bankruptcy.


Choice in eCommerce, an initiative for choice and innovation in online trade, launched this petition on 16th July 2013 to call on policy-makers and manufacturers to act quickly.


“We demand EU-wide choice instead of bans. Policy in the UK and Europe has to effectively counteract unnecessary constraints of online trade. Simultaneously, manufacturers must refrain from placing across-the-board prohibitions and limitations on eCommerce. With our petition we call on all parties to act appropriately,” says Oliver Prothmann, founder and spokesperson of Choice in eCommerce


Visit www.choice-in-ecommerce.org to sign the petition and protect online trade from unfair platform bans.



About Choice in eCommerce

Choice in eCommerce is an eCommerce sellers’ initiative founded by Oliver Prothmann in April 2013. Mr Prothmann, the founder of the Business-Dashboard tool chartixx (www.chartixx.com), has been close to the business seller community for several years and has profound experience with doing business via online marketplaces. Over the last two years, Mr Prothmann and many members of the seller community have become increasingly concerned by the negative impact of platform bans, especially on small and medium-sized sellers. The initiative is also supported by the BVOH (Bundesverband Onlinehandel).


Choice in eCommerce - What is it about?

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[1]. 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.

In Germany, the Federal Cartel Office is currently investigating two contract clauses, which are used by manufacturers to limit the online sales for sellers. A decision is expected later this year.


Petition, photos and logos



For press enquiries contact

Christoph Blase
“Choice in eCommerce” Initiative
c/o Publiplikator GmbH
Königstraße 2, 14163 Berlin, Germany
eMail   press@choice-in-ecommerce.org
Tel       +49 30 200898-31
Fax      +49 30 200898-99

[1] Ecommerce Europe Report 2013