This paper describes the methodology of a European research project on e-catalog standards and presents its major findings by formulating recommendations for future standardization work. The comparative analysis of 14 standards was conducted within the CEN/ISSS Workshop eCAT that aims at setting the basis for harmonized e-catalog standards. As part of this workshop, we present a framework and a complementing set of criteria for assessing the quality of e-business standards. Eventually, we apply this methodology to our object of interest. The findings can be regarded as an assessment of the state of the art in e-catalog standardization. By identifying problems and obstacles that hinder a broader acceptance and diffusion of standards, we argue on more suitable, harmonized standards.