Report: eCommerce after Coty and beyond
The Chamber was delighted to welcome Thomas Kramler at this lunch briefing, Head of the Digital Single Market Task Force in the European Commission's DG COMP. He provided an overview of the digital commerce sector following the Sector Inquiry and the Coty decision.
The Coty decision, which saw the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling that luxury good suppliers may prohibit the online sale of their goods by authorised retailers on third-party platform (such as Amazon), is a fascinating example of the intricacy of the enforcement of e-commerce rules, which were discussed with passion between our members and the speaker.
The key findings of the sector inquiry were discussed during the event. It has been found that there is more price transparency and price competition than before, as well as an increase in the presence of manufacturers at the retail level.
In terms of the enforcement of e-commerce rules, the Commission has been increasingly focusing on vertical restrictions, on which it hasn’t been very active in the past. Different cases of Resale Price Maintenance (RPM) were discussed, such as the decisions in July 2018 against 4 manufacturers of consumer electronics.
Our members were eager to learn more about the recent RPM cases, which were discussed in depth with Mr Kramler. Its benefits and possible negative effects, such as the softening of competition or facilitation of collusion between buyers, were put forward.
Agnès Leroux, account director at Acumen Public Affairs, kindly shared her thoughts of the event with us: “It’s not every day that you get some insights into DG COMP’ strategy. Thomas Kramler, head of the DSM taskforce, offered us just that, and gave some pointers regarding enforcement of e-commerce rules”.
Head of the Digital Single Market Task Force, DG COMP | European Commission
Thomas Kramler is Head of the Digital Single Market Task Force in the European Commission's Directorate General for Competition. Previously Mr Kramler was deputy head of the unit responsible for antitrust cases in the information industries, internet and consumer electronics sectors. Before joining the European Commission Mr Kramler worked as an agent representing the Austrian government before the European Courts in Luxemburg. Mr Kramler holds a law degree and a PhD from the University of Vienna, Austria. He has graduated with a Master's degree in European Community Law from the College of Europe (Bruges).