The EU’s Digital Single Market Strategy: insight into what it means for your business

Written on 22 Apr 2015

On 6 May 2015 the European Commission will unveil its comprehensive “Digital Single Market Strategy”.

Taking “ambitious legislative steps towards a connected digital single market” was a key part of Jean-Claude Juncker’s campaign to be President of the European Commission. Now that his Commission is in place, this has become a centrepiece of the Commission’s 2015 Work Programme.

Recognising that many barriers exist to a true EU digital single market, the European Commission has set out three sweeping areas in which it wants to take action:

  • Better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services.
  • Shaping the environment for digital networks and services to flourish.
  • Creating a European Digital Economy and Society with long-term growth potential.

Our recent experience

Our recent experiences of the Commission’s approach to these subjects suggest that this new Digital Single Market Strategy will be innovative and wide-ranging, with many implications for how businesses deliver goods and services within the European Union.

We’ve suggested below some of the legislative and regulatory topics and activities that are likely to feature in this important Commission initiative – together with questions that your business should consider now.

Want to know more?

Get in touch with one of our experts to discuss what we expect to see in the 6 May announcement from the Commission and how we can share our knowledge with you.

A comprehensive review of online platforms and telecoms regulation 

  • Reviewing the roles of online platforms and the rules relating to liability for online content 
  • Looking at current telecoms and media regulation, including subjecting over-the-top services to the same rules as traditional companies 
  • Considering how to strengthen trust and transparency in online services 

How would changing telecoms regulation affect your business? Will you be ready for new measures around content removal? Our telecoms experts can guide you through a changing regulatory environment. 

Contact an expert: John Davidson-Kelly

A harmonised approach to data protection and privacy

  • Addressing consumer concerns about privacy whilst facilitating innovative uses of data
  • Improving access to and understanding of cloud solutions and other technologies which underpin a digital economy
  • Finalising the much-contested EU General Data Protection Regulation

Are your data protection compliance practices ready to support and enhance a Digital Single Market? Are you prepared for the new EU General Data Protection Regulation? We can provide practical guidance on the steps you should be taking now.

Contact an expert: Emily Jones

Negotiating competition law complexities

  • Launching a market investigation into e-commerce in May 2015
  • Investigating “geo-blocking” of pay TV and video games
  • Raiding electrical retailers for suspected online sales restrictions

Does your business restrict distributors from selling online? Do you region lock your websites? Benefit from our leading expertise in this area to minimise the risks.

Contact an expert: Katherine Kirrage 

Enhancing consumer rights for cross-border e-commerce 

  • Continuing to stimulate consumer demand for EU cross-border online services 
  • Further harmonised rules for consumers when making online purchases 
  • More efficient and affordable cross-border parcel delivery 

Are you selling to consumers cross-border? Are your compliance practices ready to support a modified regime? Benefit from our consumer and e-commerce expertise to help guide your business forward. 

Contact an expert: Tom Harding

Modernisation of copyright across Europe

  • Getting the right balance between the interests of owners and consumers of copyright content
  • Restricting “geo-blocking” so consumers have easier access to content across borders
  • Clarifying when linking is infringing and when digital exhaustion occurs

Does your business believe national differences between copyright laws in the EU are a barrier to trade? Will a single EU copyright landscape (if achieved) require a change to your business model? We can advise you on the best way forward.

Contact an expert: Ben Goodger

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