A group of European Union states has announced plans to open public order firms to order private orders, paving the way for firms such as Amazon to open up in the bloc.
In a statement, the 28-nation bloc said the private order institutions (PEOs) would allow “companies to establish an online business, which can be used for commercial purposes, in the EU”.
This would enable them to offer more services and make the process more transparent and efficient, it said.
The statement, which was first reported by the Financial Times, comes a week after Amazon’s proposed acquisition of rival grocery retailer Sainsbury’s.
A similar plan was announced in February by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Finance and the European Union’s executive arm, the European Commission.
It is not yet clear how long the private orders would remain open, but it is hoped that they would be able to expand to other markets, such as the United States.
The EU’s decision to create private order firms is a step towards enabling them to order from customers without needing to rely on an intermediary or be regulated by a national authority.
Currently, European regulators are still required to monitor the firms, and they can only be used by the EU, but the PEOs would be exempt from these rules.
This is partly because of the high cost of setting up an online marketplace.
In addition, they are often unable to provide any information about their customers, making it difficult for regulators to determine whether they are acting in accordance with the law.
The move comes as Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, announced a $1bn deal to buy rival grocery delivery service Grab, as part of a bid to grow its business.
The purchase was initially expected to close this year, but was delayed because of a dispute over a payment.