No more geo-blocking: more choice for online shoppers
New rules that will stop online shoppers being discriminated against when they shop in another Member State have been welcomed by ECR Group MEP Anneleen Van Bossuyt. The agreement, reached following late night talks between the European Parliament and Council, will put an end to so called ‘geo-blocking’ whereby online customers are prevented from purchasing products or services from a website based in another member state.
As a result of the new rules, not only will consumers benefit from increased choice but also businesses who are set to benefit from a wider customer base as markets become more accessible.
The agreement will cover all goods and services sold online, such as tickets to theme parks, car hire or buying clothes and will come into force at the end of 2018. Crucially the rules do not extend to copyrighted content such as music which could have seriously damaged cultural sectors throughout the EU.
Van Bossuyt, who also chairs the parliament’s internal market committee and followed the proposals on behalf of the ECR said:
“These rules are a real milestone for the single market – European consumers should be able to shop online regardless of where in the EU they are located.
“Copyrighted content was rightly not covered by the proposals. Including them would have had severe consequences on business models that guarantee cultural expression for regions and people across the EU’s 28 Member States. Any future proposals in this sensitive area need to be carefully considered and not rushed through into law as some have attempted to do.”