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eBay Urges Rethink On EU Plan's "Brick and Mortar" Vendor Requirement 139

mernil writes with this snippet from Reuters: "According to a draft regulation drawn up by the European Commission and seen by Reuters, suppliers may be allowed to require that distributors have a 'brick-and-mortar' shop before they can sell online. The proposed rules would replace existing guidelines exempting companies from strict EU competition rules under certain circumstances. Those rules expire at the end of May."
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eBay Urges Rethink On EU Plan's "Brick and Mortar" Vendor Requirement

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  • Re:No words (Score:2, Interesting)

    by flyneye ( 84093 ) on Friday February 19, 2010 @03:39PM (#31202770) Homepage

    I can't imagine what they want that provision for, unless, somehow it makes collecting taxes easier. Then it's just plain laziness.
    If its pressure from brick and mortar stores, then it's unfair competition. Any insights as to this backward reasoning?

  • Luxury Brands? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by odin84gk ( 1162545 ) on Friday February 19, 2010 @03:40PM (#31202778)

    From the article

    Brand owners - often in the high-end or luxury segment - say the provision is necessary to stop so-called free riders, competitors who benefit from promotions carried out by brand name companies, shifting stock online on the back of advertising of a brand's products and services.

    Because "free riders" do not have to pay for the costs of a shop and related overheads, they can frequently offer brand-name products over the Internet at discounted prices.

    "The purpose of a brick-and-mortar shop provision is to help retailers invest in luxury shops," said Antoine Winkler, a partner at law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton who represents several brand name companies.

    I'm slightly confused. Are they doing this to help the brick-and-mortar stores? Are they doing this to help the brands? I'm confused. It sounds like they are trying to take down low-overhead companies because they are too efficient. Does anyone know why this would be a good idea?

  • But imagine (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jgtg32a ( 1173373 ) on Friday February 19, 2010 @03:42PM (#31202798)

    Going to the Newegg store, where it's a warehouse with a couple of cashiers in the front. The employees aren't there to help you they are there to get stuff to shipping. I'd wander around there for hours.

  • by davester666 ( 731373 ) on Friday February 19, 2010 @04:12PM (#31203226) Journal

    unless you are licensing something purely digital, that's not really true.

    If you are buying a physical 'good', presumably it still actually needs to be transported to where you physically are.

    I supposed if they have a large enough trebuchet, they could get around using roads...

  • by noidentity ( 188756 ) on Friday February 19, 2010 @05:30PM (#31204406)

    I like this requirement. I think they should also require that all brick-and-mortar stores have an online store that sells everything they have in the brick-and-mortar store, and always be up to date.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 19, 2010 @06:18PM (#31205118)

    The reasons this is being pushed by the EU is this.

    At the moment a TV (for example) goes from a maker in Korea to a importer in Germany, then on to a distributor, and then a retailer (either online or "bricks and mortar" ). That called a supply chain.

    NOW, image a world where you order direct from the Korean factory. This is clearly a natural progression of E-commerce and technology. It is already happening with Photovoltaic cells and solar thermal panels for example. I order 25,000 USD of solar thermal last month, I saved myself about 32,000 USD by doing this !!

    Well, now all the money and employment that the EU got has completely dried up because now the of busienss in the EU are able to get a cut of the supply chain.
    VAT that is added on each pass and the makeup that happens as everything goes through the supply chain is now gone.
    All this add on that happens as it goes through the supply chain is a huge amount of money and ultimately is what keeps the whole EU economy going in many ways.

    SO this measure is an ecconomists attempt at trade protection , in order to

    I think its great. I saved a fortune by getting the solar thermal panels put into a container myself

  • by beset ( 745752 ) on Friday February 19, 2010 @06:58PM (#31205552) Homepage
    I guess you've never worked in retail, nor understand quite how retail works.

    Do you not sell on price alone. If this were the case the world would be full of geeks running e-stores out of bedrooms which allow for the lowest overheads thus the smallest margin.

    Customers (outside of /. (they do exist)) generally want advice, the unwashed masses aren't supergeeks like we are. Bricks and Mortar stores allow customers to compare ranges of products in the flesh and speak to a real person who has likely had years of training and experience.

    We've got to a situation now where these stores are browsed at the weekends, the customer uses the shops expertise, nice warm displays etc then the first thing they do when they get to work on a monday is buy it online. This is obviously not a sustainable model for retail, which a large percentage of our economy is based on.

    Further to counter you point, even the online PRICE COMPARISON engines have been moving away from purely PRICE listings. They all have an element of customer service reviews, and now most of them recommend a "smart choice" which is the cheapest of the retailers with x% positive feedback. As you might have guessed, the retailers operating on the smallest margins are often those who don't provide the service, so this recommended retailer isn't always the cheapest.
  • Re:No words (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Friday February 19, 2010 @11:43PM (#31207536) Homepage

    Statistics can lie, the better economic indicator is the minimum wage, and what percentage of the population earn the minimum wage and whether that minimum wage is actually liveable, paying for food, clothing, buying accommodation and of course health. Pointless looking at the median income if the majority of people in point of fact actually earn considerably less than that, I know it is their fault for not being born in a family where nepotism ensure earning many many multiples of the average salary.

    Remember producing a functioning healthy and happy society is not about ensuring that the minority can exploit the majority, it is about ensuring that the exploitative minority are isolated from the rest of society in rehabilitative institutions, whilst the rest of society to works together on creating healthy and happy communities.

    When it comes to wages, look at the minimum wage, the number of annual leave holiday days, public holidays, number of paid sick days, the number of long service holiday days, overtime penalty and of course health care provisions. All that added together defines the actual true wage conditions and it behoves a modern controlled social capitalist society to control and enforce reasonable of employment as well as to protect them from external subversion.

"Everyone's head is a cheap movie show." -- Jeff G. Bone