Refusal to Serve Consumers Because of their Nationality or Residence - Distortions in the Internal Market for e-commerce Transactions ?

15-01-2007

Executive summary Technological progress and the internet bring the promise of an Internal Market for electronic services closer than ever into the reach of Europe’s citizens. Yet, while European and national policies are committed to removing government-made obstacles to the free movement of services, some e-commerce businesses use technology to actually re-introduce territorial barriers. These businesses either refuse residents or citizens from other member states access to their services, or subject them to dissimilar conditions or prices. The motives for so doing can be roughly distinguished in : • Objective conditions of the market: e.g. local preferences, language, costs of transport, non-existing market for transborder services; • Legal reasons: e.g. flowing from territorial licensing agreements or divergent national regulations; • Strategic economic reasons: e.g. price discrimination, reducing competition, preventing free-riding. [...]

Executive summary Technological progress and the internet bring the promise of an Internal Market for electronic services closer than ever into the reach of Europe’s citizens. Yet, while European and national policies are committed to removing government-made obstacles to the free movement of services, some e-commerce businesses use technology to actually re-introduce territorial barriers. These businesses either refuse residents or citizens from other member states access to their services, or subject them to dissimilar conditions or prices. The motives for so doing can be roughly distinguished in : • Objective conditions of the market: e.g. local preferences, language, costs of transport, non-existing market for transborder services; • Legal reasons: e.g. flowing from territorial licensing agreements or divergent national regulations; • Strategic economic reasons: e.g. price discrimination, reducing competition, preventing free-riding. [...]

Externí autor

Natali Helberger (Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)