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IP/08/1338

Brussels, 17th September 2008

Competition: Commissioner Kroes hosts consumer and industry Roundtable on opportunities and barriers to online retailing and the European Single Market

The opportunities created by and barriers to increased online retailing in Europe were the focus of the Online Commerce Roundtable comprising senior consumer and industry representatives hosted at the European Commission's Brussels headquarters on 17th September by European Commissioner for Competition Neelie Kroes. The Roundtable will produce a short report for the Commission which will be published later this year to invite further comments from third parties. As regards online music, there was agreement that pan-European services require pan-European solutions. The Commission has published the issues paper for the group and invites all interested parties to submit their own comments on the issues paper by 15 October 2008. All comments submitted will be published on the Commission's website.

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said "The people of Europe were promised a union, a place without borders: but on the internet they have not yet got it. Progress has been made; sometimes impressive, but it is not enough. As Competition Commissioner, I want to know why. If this is because the competition rules are not clear enough, I will clarify them. If it is because the competition rules are not up to date, I will update them. And of course, if this is because the competition rules are not being respected, consumers and companies should know that I will enforce them."

Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said "It is high time that we tackle unnecessary barriers to improve the regulatory environment to make the internal market on the internet a reality."

The members of the Online Commerce Roundtable were:

Chair: Ben Verwaayen, CEO Alcatel-Lucent

Bernard Arnault, CEO LVMH

John Donahoe, CEO eBay

John Elkann, Vice Chairman Fiat

Roger Faxon, CEO EMI

Sir Mick Jagger

Steve Jobs, CEO Apple

Bernard Miyet, CEO SACEM

Peter Vicary Smith (represented by Thomas Houghton), CEO Which? (the UK consumers' organisation)

The issues paper for the meeting will be available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/consultations/online_commerce.html

The report and any further submissions will be available at the same address.

See also SPEECH/08/437

Pictures are available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/photo/photo.cfm?id=2869&sitelang=en


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