EU Consumer Conditions Scoreboard: consumers show growing demand for cross-border online shopping
The 2017 edition of the Consumer Conditions Scoreboard shows that more and more EU consumers are shopping online and that their trust in e-commerce has increased, in particular in buying online from other EU countries. For retailers, however, the Scoreboard shows that many are still reluctant to expand their online activities and continue to have concerns about selling online to consumers in other EU countries. Such concerns are mainly linked to a higher risk of fraud and non-payment in cross-border sales, different tax regulations, differences in national contract law and in consumer protection rules. Commissioner Jourová said: “My priority has been to improve trust of the people and smaller retailers in the Digital Single Market. Consumers are now more confident when they shop online. And we’ve equipped them with a quick procedure to get their money back if something goes wrong, even when buying from another country. The challenge now is to encourage more businesses to respond to this growing demand.” While consumer conditions have improved overall since the last Scoreboard, the levels of trust, knowledge and protection still vary greatly between EU Member States. The Scoreboard also shows that consumer trust in e-commerce has dramatically increased. In ten years the share of Europeans buying online has almost doubled (from 29.7% in 2007 to 55% in 2017). Since the last Scoreboard consumers’ levels of trust have increased by 12 percentage points for purchases from retailers located in the same country and by 21 percentage points for purchases from other EU Member States. A press release, the full report and a factsheet are available online.
Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into Knorr-Bremse’s proposed takeover of competing brakes manufacturer Haldex
The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed takeover of Haldex by Knorr-Bremse under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission has concerns that the deal may reduce competition for brake systems and related components for commercial vehicles in Europe. The Commission’s initial investigation has shown that the proposed merger would likely remove a significant competitor from an already very concentrated sector. The concerns refer to a number of markets where Knorr-Bremse and Haldex currently compete, such as electronic braking systems (EBS) and air disc brakes for both trucks and trailers, anti-lock braking systems (ABS) for trailers, valves and air treatment systems. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Brakes are a crucial component for the safety of the millions of trucks, trailers and buses that transport goods and passengers across Europe every day. We want to ensure that Knorr-Bremse’s takeover of Haldex does not restrict competition for these critical components, which could lead to less innovation, for example in the development of automated driving, or to price increases for vehicle manufacturers, fleet operators and ultimately consumers.” The full press release is available online in here
Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Centrica Langage and Centrica SHB by EPH
The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Centrica Langage Ltd. and Centrica SHB Ltd. of the UK by Energetický a průmyslový holding, a.s. (EPH) of the Czech Republic. Centrica Langage and Centrica SHB are two gas-fired power plants located near Plymouth and Stallingborough in the UK, respectively. EPH is a utility company engaged in brown coal extraction, electricity and heat production, distribution and supply as well as gas transmission, distribution, and storage. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because of the companies’ limited combined market share and the presence of several established competitors. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8516.
NEWS IN FULL
DAILY NEWS 25 – 07 -2017