15 Apr 2016

DIGITALEUROPE’s comments on the proposed Directive on contract rules for the supply of digital content

DIGITALEUROPE’s comments on the proposed Directive on contract rules for the supply of digital content

INTRODUCTION

DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the ambition of the European Commission to unlock the potential of eCommerce in Europe. We recognise that harmonisation of EU law for online purchases of digital content must provide further confidence for consumers and consistency across the digital single market. We therefore support the principle of full harmonisation underlying the European Commission’s approach that is necessary to bring legal certainty for business.

However, we are concerned that, in its current form, this Directive may inadvertently have an impact on other areas already regulated or currently being reviewed, such as the consideration of the General Data Protection Regulation and the platform assessment.

In particular, consumers are already benefiting from a strong set of consumer laws such as the Consumer Rights Directive (CRD), Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, the Unfair Contract Terms Directive as well as the Data Protection Directive and soon to be the General Data Protection Regulation. In the spirit of Better Regulation, we believe that it is essential to promote existing rules that strengthen consumer trust in cross-border commerce activities. New regulation should only complement where necessary. In particular, the REFIT Fitness Check of EU Consumer Law (to be completed by 2017) and upcoming review of the CRD (to be completed by December 2016) should be undertaken first to evaluate consumer law requirements in a holistic manner before introducing this Directive. Therefore, we urge the European Commission to carefully consider the potential knock-on effect of this Directive and to take a step back and wait for the outcome of these reviews before adding new layers of regulation.

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