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Economic and Social Policies, PUBLICATIONS

Geo-blocking and discrimination among customers in the EU [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Tambiama Madiega (1st edition),

computer online shopping

© georgejmclittle / Fotolia

Geo-blocking practices commonly restrict cross-border sales of tangible goods as well as of electronically supplied services and electronically delivered content services in the EU. The Commission has therefore proposed a regulation which would prohibit traders from blocking access to their online interfaces to customers in another Member State or from automatically re-routing them to a different website for reasons related to the customers’ nationality, place of residence or place of establishment. Foreign customers should be offered the same terms and conditions as local customers. However, audiovisual services would not be covered, with the Commission proposing to address them under the forthcoming copyright reform. While the proposal has been broadly welcomed, a number of specific issues have been raised by stakeholders and scholars.

See also our statistical spotlight on
Cross-border online sales in the EU‘.


Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on addressing geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on customers’ nationality, place of residence or place of establishment within the internal market and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 and Directive 2009/22/EC
Committee responsible:




Shadow rapporteurs:



Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO)

Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein (EPP, Poland)

Virginie Rozière (S&D, France)

Dennis de Jong (GUE/NGL, The Netherlands)

Julia Reda (Greens/EFA, Germany)

COM(2016) 289 25.05.2016

2016/0152 (COD)

Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)

Next steps expected: Discussions in committee

EU Legislation in Progress


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