In a landmark decision for e-commerce, the European Commission has given the green light to B2B marketplace MyAircraft.com.
In the first European ruling on a B2B site, the commission concluded that the operation would not give rise to competition concerns. However, there remains concern that B2B trading places could create a route to new price-fixing cartels.
The commission investigation revealed that third parties consider MyAircraft.com to be one of many channels used to transact business. The site is a venture between US-based companies Honeywell and United Technologies to manage the supply chain for the aerospace industry.
“MyAircraft.com is seen by third parties as a tool to make operations within the aerospace sector quicker, more efficient and less costly,” says the report. The commission took into consideration the relatively high number of other B2B marketplaces in the sector, which it believes will provide strong competition for MyAircraft.com.
The commission also said that not all B2B electronic marketplaces will be reviewed under the EU merger control law. Exceptions will include single companies, because there would be no concentration, and joint ventures where the parents do not control strategic commercial decisions.
However, it warned that B2B marketplaces which do not fall under the merger regulation, may fall under general EU Treaty rules on restrictive business practices.
Separately, the EU is inviting tenders to a study which will look in detail at the changes, resulting from the use of technology, on the supply chain of commercial enterprises. Companies have until 29 September to respond.
The US-based company i2 will provide to MyAircraft.com the necessary software under a license agreement.