European Commission/DG COMP publishes WIK study on purchasing behaviour in Europe Evaluation support study of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation
The development of today’s multi-channel sales environment has resulted in consumers increasingly combining different sales channels when looking for information on prices, products, brands, etc.. Although this approach has many advantages for retailers, the multi-channel approach also raises some concerns about possible free-riding behaviour.
With the imminent expiration of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER) on 31 May 2022, the European Commission is currently evaluating the existing Regulation. WIK-Consult's ‘Study on consumer purchasing behaviour in Europe’ is part of a large-scale qualitative and quantitative investigation conducted by a research consortium led by VVA to assist the Directorate General for Competition (DG COMP) in its evaluation of the VBER and the Guidelines on Vertical Restraints. By means of a comprehensive consumer survey, the study traced the recorded customer journeys of European consumers in order to investigate purchasing behaviour and switching between different channels throughout the purchasing process. It provides an empirical basis to inform DG COMP’s assessment of potential free-riding problems.