EBay to lead online coalition against EC trading laws

EBay is to head a coalition of online traders that will lobby the European Parliament to reform laws that restrict cross-border trading online. The move comes after the European Commission (EC) said it wants to break down these trading laws.

The news comes days after Meglena Kunerva, the EU consumer protection commissioner, announced a new EU legislation that will simplify rules governing online and high street transactions.

EBay, which has the support of Kuneva and EU services commissioner Charlie McCreevy, is launching a “Call for Action” paper tomorrow and is asking the EU to look at the regulatory framework for distribution agreements, trademark rules and service and consumer provision.

The online auction site will argue that current EU laws prevent consumers from making savings and that traditional retailers are exploiting the rules to limit the impact of online trading. EBay has found four regulatory “bottlenecks” which its says allow manufacturers to maintain a policy of market segmentation – essentially different pricing models for different regions.

EBay wants replace the practice with one global price for good and it hopes to form a coalition with likeminded online traders by the end if the year.

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