Action comes as EU competition commissioner says there may be a case to answer

eBay steps up legal battle with vendors

eBay has stepped up its battle with vendors over restrictions they put in place to prevent the sale of products across international boundaries.

Calling for the practise to be investigated as anti-competitive, eBay’s deputy general counsel Tod Cohen told Retail Week.

He said that he wanted to bring attention to the fore about the practise and the "abusive" distribution agreements, which he said around about: "manipulating and controlling the markets beyond EU market rules".

Worryingly for vendors, the EU competition commissioner has said that she believes there may be a case to answer. "There are a number of practices that are being used to restrict cross-border sales, which I think require a closer look," Neelie Kroes commented.

Any ruling could have major implications for the IT industry, with UK prices being forced down by cheap imports from the US. For example, at the time of writing, Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium was available on for $202.99 (£111.75) but £142.97 on

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