In E-Commerce, The European Union Is Far From United

Online shoppers in the European Union (EU) often find better prices from retailers across national borders but find themselves unable to place orders, according to the European Commission. "On average, 61 percent of orders placed online in another EU country failed, mainly because the trader refused to serve the consumer’s country of residence or did not offer adequate means of cross-border payment," said the commission on October 22.

Hoping to boost "borderless" E-Commerce in the EU, the commission wants online retailers to adopt domain names ending in .eu (the top-level domain for Europe) and to "create multi-country or pan-EU" commerce sites. The Brussels-based commission said E-Commerce sites with .eu domain names would help eliminate cross-border trade resistance that happens, in part, because of "national perceptions based on country domain names." The commission has also vowed to better protect consumer data and said it will fight harder against counterfeit products.