Digital Single Market
Based on fresh findings from its inquiry into e-commerce restrictions, the European Commission (EC) increases momentum on tackling anti-competitive practices which may hinder the creation of the Digital Single Market.
Background to the Digital Single Market Review
The EC is taking bold steps to create an open and flexible market, reflecting the dynamic nature of a digital economy. It is doing so through the creation of a Digital Single Market (“DSM”) strategy, made up of three pillars.
- Access: e-commerce, parcel delivery, copyright and VAT
- Environment: telecoms and media, security and personal data
- Economy and society: data economy, standards, skills and Government
The Importance of the Online Economy
It is estimated that 315m Europeans access the internet daily, reflecting the huge demand for digital services. However, only 7% of EU small and medium sized businesses sell crossborder. The DSM review aims to increase this by breaking down national barriers, particularly for digital content which does not require physical delivery.
Reforming the European patchwork of national markets and legislation, particularly across national boundaries, is crucial to achieving European growth. The EU estimates that a fully functioning e-commerce market could deliver Europe-wide benefits of up to €154 billion a year with consumers benefiting from greater choice and lower prices. However, realisation of these potential benefits depends on consumers having the confidence that their rights will be protected and their data will be used appropriately.