Trading debate Restrictions on German trading laws dating back to the 1930s could be in for a major overhaul thanks to the internet. The abolition of the 1933 Discount Act and the 1932 Free Gifts Act ­ restricting special offers and discounts ­ should come into effect by mid-2001 when the European directive on e-commerce hits. It means retailers will be able to trade across Europe on the basis of rules in their home country ­ allowing outsiders to offer substantial discounts to German consumers. Now attention is turning to restrictive store opening times in Germany that dictate shops have to shut from 4pm on Saturday till Monday morning. {{NEWS }}