Friday, 11 February 2022

Press Release – Sector Inquiry into E-Commerce – Second public consultation - teleconference on the Interim Report

Subject: Hellenic Competition Commission’s Sector Inquiry into E-Commerce – Second public consultation/ teleconference on the Interim Report

On Wednesday 9 February 2022, the Hellenic Competition Commission (‘HCC’) successfully organised the second public consultation/ teleconference which followed the publication of its Interim Report for the sector inquiry into e-commerce. The teleconference was designed as an interactive forum for the exchange of views on the competitive conditions of the digital economy in Greece, ahead of the publication of the Final Report. The teleconference, which was broadcast via a proprietary livestreaming studio in FULLHD quality, is part of the broader aim of the HCC to reform its digital communications, in order to establish more direct contacts with businesses, consumers and the public. 

The teleconference was livestreamed via the HCC’s platform and was followed by many interested parties, which included representatives of companies and consumer organisations, associations of enterprises, antitrust lawyers and economists. 

During the event, speakers from various professional backgrounds delivered presentations on various topical issues pertaining to e-commerce. More specifically, the teleconference consisted of the following four thematic sessions: i) Presentation of the Interim Report for the HCC’s Sector Inquiry into E-Commerce; ii) Competitive Conditions, Perspectives and Barriers to the Effectiveness of E-Commerce; iii) Amendments to the Legal Framework; and iv) Electronic Intermediation for the Provision of Services: Hotel Sector. 

Ιn the context of the first thematic session, the Sector Inquiry Case Team presented the conclusions of the Interim Report and analysed the competitive conditions and the possible distortions to effective competition in the digital environment. The first panel also benefitted from the participation of Prof. G. Doukidis, Director of the E-Business Research Center (ELTRUN) of the Athens University of Economics and Business, which provided the Case Team with valuable assistance during the drafting of the Interim Report. In the second thematic session, representatives of companies and associations of enterprises active in e-commerce shared their views on the challenges and future perspectives of the digital economy in Greece. 

During the third thematic session, antitrust practitioners delivered presentation on the recent and forthcoming legislative developments, covering topics which included the review of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation, the Digital Markets Act proposal, the approach taken to algorithmic pricing, and the European Commission’s guidelines on collective bargaining of self-employed. In the fourth thematic session, representatives of the hotel sector and eminent lawyers exchanged 

views on the distortion of competition resulting from the conduct of large online travel agents and affect a sector of paramount importance for the Greek economy. 

At the following stage, the Sector Inquiry Case Team will build on any views and comments received during the public consultation on the Interim Report with a view to updating its findings and proceeding to the drafting and publication of the Final Report. The video of the teleconference is available (in greek) on the HCC website, as well as on the HCC’s YouTube channel.

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