INTERNATIONAL pressure from the burgeoning e-commerce industry resulted in a smart about-turn by the European Commission. The volte face concerns a controversial clause in the EC’s draft e-commerce directive which, if implemented, would give consumers the right to pursue legal action against web traders in the country of destination – negating the ‘country of origin’ principle inherent in the directive. This has been described by direct marketers and e-commerce traders alike as likely to have 'a chilling effect on electronic commerce'. Unless amended, the directive will become law on 11 December and, following intensive lobbying, an eleventh-hour hearing on 4/5 November has been granted by the EC Task Force on Justice and Home Affairs. The EC blames the industry for letting the issue get this far without challenge: 'The trade bodies did not pick up on it. Only one law firm has run with it', alleged an EC spoke. The charge was refuted by FEDMA director-general Alistair Tempest: 'In this case there has been exceptional secrecy and non-co-operation', he says. 'It [the EC] didn’t tell anyone it was doing it.'
© Copyright 2017
All rights reserved including database rights. This electronic file is for the personal use of authorised users based at the subscribing company's office location. It may not be reproduced, posted on intranets, extranets or the internet, e-mailed, archived or shared electronically either within the purchaser's organisation or externally without express written permission from WARC.