In this first digital business news roundup, the European Union is publishing a new, multi-faceted directive to regulate consumer law. German consumers had a case of spending fever, again, this past year. Also in the news, Uber and Hyundai teamed up to unveil a new flying taxi in Las Vegas.

EU News Roundup
© Novikov Aleksey /

Today, 7 January, the Omnibus Directive on EU Consumer Rights will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and thus officially come into force, according to our German language news treasure trove, The directive will significantly strengthen consumer protection in the EU. It means more duties to provide information for online retailers, new and strict rules on price reductions for discount campaigns and EU-wide harmonized fines for infringements. Positive aspects for retailers are likely to be that marketplaces will, in future, be required to disclose the parameters on which their rankings are based when consumers make search queries, and that the possible means of communication will be modernized. For example, in future contracts can also be concluded via chat, while no fax number needs to be given in the legal notice.

Unlike EU regulations, which apply immediately, directives must be converted into national law by the EU member states. They have two years from today to do this. It will be interesting to watch how Germany will incorporate the guidelines from Brussels into its own laws.

Germany's Retailers Have Increased Sales

The buying mood of the Germans made the cash registers of retailers ring quite a lot last year. As Spiegel Online writes, with reference to figures from the Federal Statistical Office, sales in 2019 were up 2.9%. Online and mail order business was particularly successful. With an increase of 7.4% in the first eleven months of last year, this sector recorded the strongest growth in revenues. The fact that the retail trade was able to enjoy rising sales for the tenth year in succession was due, among other things, to the current record employment level of 45.3 million people. The experts are not predicting a break in the strong purchasing power for 2020 either.

Flying Cars By Uber And Hyundai

The transport service provider Uber wants to bring its customers from A to B by flying taxis in the future and has now entered into a partnership with the car manufacturer Hyundai. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the first model of an air taxi was already presented by the Korean car manufacturer. These are powered by electricity, can cover distances of up to 100 kilometers and take only about five to seven minutes to fully recharge. The first commercial flights are expected to be carried out as early as 2023, according to Gründerszene.