EC:5 – Logical Sense:0

There has been something in the IT news that caught my interest today. Good enough to sit down this Monday morning, and start – like every good Monday should start – with a lot of complaining.

I am originally from Europe, and lived almost 30 years in the country of the Netherlands. And still, I speak with a bit of pride about the country and Europe. But, sometimes that is hard, especially when I read the news. And I am not going to bore you with yet another government that fell down last weekend, the 15th already that fell since WWII. But something about the European Commission (EC).

Now, I have started to dislike the EC’s IT-agenda. Mostly because it simply does not make sense, and on the other hand, because it simply brings IT-evolution to a screeching halt. The new law that I am pointing out is not yet in effect, but it should allow wholesale to deny delivery of products to stores that are not brick-and-mortar stores.

Understandably especially eBay and Amazon are, in their right minds if you ask me, quite ticked off. I do understand it in some way; not every bookstore can compete with the amounts that Amazon can offer. Not even The Strand. But, is that even the issue? Because it is not for every type of store this should be a problem, that will flourish with localization. I don’t order my bread online. Most movies that I buy are impulse buys, and I don’t want to wait 3 days before I get them delivered, I’ll just go to the store. Buying clothes online? Please… maybe some stores would have a better time online, some both on and offline, and some only offline. But as a government, should you be able to control it this way? Simply saying that you are an online company so you should be put back in line, people do not have to serve you? Why not? Aren’t there just normal people trying to run such a business, who cannot afford a brick-and-mortar location? It is not only Amazons, Ebays or Barnes&Nobles’ online. Because, in that perspective, what about Walmart? Target? K-mart? Best Buy? Aren’t they just as big?

And the laughing parties in here are the companies that you might try to hurt with this. Companies that have both their own stock and an great online presence; Target, B&N, Walmart, MediaMarkt, Best Buy. They probably would love this law to be passed over there in Europe. Because it can make life for the competition really hard.

Nice going EC! It is good to know you have such educated people working there to make these decisions.

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