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Policy Contribution

E-commerce in Europe: parcel delivery prices in a digital single market

The expansion of e-commerce, a substantial growth opportunity for Europe, is hampered by high cross-border parcel delivery prices. This paper analyses the economics of cross-border parcel delivery and it draws a comparison with the telecommunications sector.

By: and Date: May 25, 2016 Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy

Highlights

In its Digital Single Market strategy, the European Commission has rightly noted the importance of reducing the price paid for basic cross-border parcel delivery by consumers and by small and medium size retail senders.

The payment flows for cross-border parcel delivery are strikingly similar to those for telecommunications. Comparisons with roaming can be instructive. As with roaming, it is clear that the links between wholesale payments between the national postal operators and retail prices need to be properly understood in order to craft good policy. Another useful lesson is that national postal regulatory authorities are unlikely to address cross-border problems because of limitations in their respective mandates and because they have no incentive to take measures to benefit residents of other countries.

There are also significant differences between roaming and parcel delivery. While high wholesale charges were a major driver of high retail prices for international mobile roaming, the wholesale payments for cross-border parcel delivery appear to be below cost. This implies that it is the ‘spread’ between retail price and the wholesale payment that is inflated, at least for small retail senders and for consumers.

Comprehensive statistics gathering, coordinated at European level, is indispensable.

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Parliamentary Testimony

European Parliament

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Testimony before the European Parliament Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO).

By: J. Scott Marcus Topic: European Parliament, Innovation & Competition Policy, Testimonies Date: July 18, 2018
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Parliamentary Testimony

European Parliament

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Testimony before the European Parliament Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO).

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Parliamentary Testimony

European Parliament

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Past Event

Past Event

EU-LAC Economic Forum 2018

The second edition of the EU-LAC Economic Forum, a high level gathering for in-depth research-based exchanges on economic issues between European, Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) policy makers and experts.

Speakers: Angel Badillo, Federico Bonaglia, Maria Demertzis, Sylvie Durán, Guillermo Fernández de Soto, Alicia García-Herrero, Elisa Grafulla, Gonzalo Gutiérrez, Bert Hoffmann, Juan Jung, Emilio Lamo de Espinosa, Carlos Malamud, J. Scott Marcus, Neven Mimica, Fabio Nasarre de Letosa, Detlef Nolte, Anne Sperschneider and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Global Economics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: June 26, 2018
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Working Paper

How big is China’s digital economy?

The rise of influential Chinese digital giants, including Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and Xiaomi has shown the world that China is a global leader in digital innovation and it is not surprising that China has started to influence the global digital market. But is China exploiting its full potential in this area? To answer this question, the authors assess how big China’s digital economy is relative to the rest of its economy, and how China performs compared to the rest of the world.

By: Alicia García-Herrero and Jianwei Xu Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: May 17, 2018
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Blog Post

How e-commerce reshapes markets and firms’ strategies

The development of e-commerce has affected both demand and supply fundamentals of markets, changing the way competition works. In the effort to develop a frictionless and welfare maximizing digital single market across the EU, it is necessary to carefully review the disruptive forces on e-commerce on markets and firms’ strategies.

By: Georgios Petropoulos Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: May 7, 2018
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Opinion

Germany’s export-oriented economic model is caught in a US-Chinese squeeze

The new Merkel government has to reduce the dependencies on exports by stimulating domestic growth forces in Germany and Europe. At the same time, Berlin should push for a more ambitious national and European innovation policy as well as a robust European foreign trade policy.

By: Sebastian Heilmann and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: April 30, 2018
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Past Event

Past Event

Challenges and opportunities for the EU digital single market

At this event, we looked into the progress made towards achieving the main priorities for strengthening the digital single market, the opportunities and the challenges at EU level.

Speakers: Andrus Ansip, George Christou, Jakub Boratyński, Christian Borggreen, Adina Claici, Maria Demertzis, Roland Doll, Lie Junius, Thomas Kramler, Patrick Legros, J. Scott Marcus, David Martin Ruiz, Eva Maydell, Georgios Petropoulos, Siada El Ramly, Oliver Roethig, Aidan Ryan, André Sapir, Mark Smitham, Maximilian Strotmann, Reinhilde Veugelers, Guntram B. Wolff and Andrew W. Wyckoff Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: April 23, 2018
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External Publication

Network Sharing and 5G in Europe: The Potential Benefits of Using SDN or NFV

What technological, economic, and regulatory policy implications might flow from the use of Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) technologies, and what are the interactions among these different dimensions? The authors explore the application of SDN/NFV technology to achieve greater flexibility as to how communication networks are used.

By: J. Scott Marcus and Gabor Molnar Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: December 7, 2017
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Can roaming be saved after Brexit?

The referendum where UK voters chose to exit the European Union has many unanticipated consequences. One that is gaining visibility in the UK just now is the impact of Brexit on mobile roaming arrangements. How might the UK maintain roaming arrangements with the EU in the event of a hard Brexit?

By: J. Scott Marcus and Robert G. Clarke Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: September 21, 2017
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External Publication

Economic Implications of Further Harmonisation of Electronic Communications Regulation in the EU

One of the ways in which the European Commission has sought over the years to strengthen the European single market is by means of increased harmonisation of the regulation of electronic communications. To the extent that the European Union functions as a confederation of somewhat autonomous member states, however, there are both practical and political limits to the degree of harmonisation that is realistically desirable or achievable.

By: J. Scott Marcus and Christian Wernick Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: August 11, 2017
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By: Silvia Merler Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: July 17, 2017
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