Europe’s online economy growing at more than 10% per year

Online intermediaries contribute more than €430 billion to European economy in 2012; Digital Single Market key to continued growth. The  European Digital Media Association (EDiMA) presented European Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier with a new Copenhagen Economics study which shows that Europe’s online economy is growing at more than 10% per annum, substantially faster than the economy as a whole.

In 2012, online platforms – such as ecommerce and video-sharing sites, search engines, social networks and cloud computing providers – contributed more than €430 billion to the European economy, up from €310bn in 2009. provThe report, entitled The Impact of Online Intermediaries on the EU Economy, outlines how online platforms participating in Europe’s Single Market benefit the EU economy in three distinct ways:

Direct GDP contribution. In 2012, online platforms contributed more than €220 billion directly to EU 27 GDP. This contribution has increased by €60 billion since 2009. 

Long term indirect GDP contribution. In 2012, online platforms contributed €210 billion to the European economy due to the productivity impact of intermediary platforms on other companies, up from €150 billion in 2009. 

Economic impact beyond GDP. In 2012, online platforms contributed an additional €640 billion of value via business-to-business platform revenues, online advertising and the consumer benefit derived from the use of free services.

As EDiMA President Dr Katarzyna Lasota Heller underscored: “We’re glad to provide Commissioner Barnier with this new report, which demonstrates the value of online platforms to Europe’s economy. With an annual contribution to GDP growth rate of more than 10%, the online economy is outperforming the European economy as a whole, and we commend the European Commission’s work to complete the Digital Single Market.”

This report indeed demonstrates exactly how European policy makers and industry can work together to move the EU towards a prosperous financial future. One of the key factors which allows a contribution of online intermediaries to the European economy of such scale is the liability limitation provisions of the EU’s E-Commerce Directive. These provisions give the legal certainty necessary to offer online services across Europe’s Single Market – services that are used daily by hundreds of thousands of small businesses and millions of European consumers. We should keep that in mind as we continue to evolve and improve the e-commerce framework in Europe, towards a genuine Digital Single Market.

Click here to download the report.

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