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Commerce Commission to focus on online retail

online shopping1The Commerce Commission published its areas of priority focus for the upcoming year, focusing on six particular areas, including online retail, while continuing to combat areas of potential significant impact on consumers.

Chairman Dr Mark Berry noted the Commission would focus on issues revolving around retail communications; responsible lending; online retail; motor vehicle sales; non-notified mergers; and electricity distributors’ service quality.

“The priority areas we are targeting affect large numbers of consumers every day and we will be working with businesses to tackle the particular issues we are concerned about, both through education and enforcement,” said Berry.

“With more and more New Zealanders routinely making purchases on the internet we will be taking a close look at the issues associated with online shopping, for consumers and businesses alike.”

The Commission stated that it would carry out a range of work to increase its understanding of the issues associated with online purchasing, for both consumers and businesses. It will also look for opportunities to educate businesses about their responsibilities, while taking the appropriate enforcement action if areas of non-compliance are identified.

It also expressed a desire to further increase understanding of emerging technology and the digital economy as a whole, and its implications for consumers, competition and regulation.

“We want to avoid regulation creating a barrier to the uptake of these technologies so that consumers can benefit from the technologies,” the Commission points out in its statement of priorities 2018-19.

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