Online sellers want to end platform sales bans

[BERLIN, July, 16th 2013]

People want to shop in places they like and trust, and European consumers can save about €11.7 billion a year thanks to online shopping.[1] 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 have launched a petition to defend themselves against these restrictions that harm their businesses and consumers, 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[2]. 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.

“eCommerce as we know it is under threat,” says Oliver Prothmann, founder of Choice in eCommerce, an initiative for choice and innovation in online trade. “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.”

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.[3] 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.

Visit to sign the petition and protect online trade from unfair platform bans.


Notes to Editors

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 (, 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. As a marketplace expert, he discussed with merchants how to act against any kind of discrimination against eCommerce in order to preserve innovation and growth in the sector. Consequently, he launched the Choice in eCommerce Initiative in April, and later received support from other industry stakeholders including, BVOH (Bundesverband Onlinehandel). Others will follow soon.

Choice in eCommerce has created a petition with the objective of ensuring that all online sellers, particularly SMEs, can benefit from a political and legal situation where sales bans on online platforms are not tolerated.


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Your Contact for any Press related questions

Christoph Blase
Initiative „Choice in eCommerce“
c/o Publiplikator GmbH
Königstraße 2, 14163 Berlin (Germany)
Phone +49 30 200898-31
Fax +49 30 200898-99


[1] European Commission 2011

[2] Ecommerce Europe Report 2013

[3] Forrester Research 2012