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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 (2nd 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. In May 2016, the European Commission proposed a new regulation that prohibits online sellers of tangible goods, and of some types of electronically supplied services, from discriminating among customers based on their nationality or place of residence within the European Union. In November 2017, after protracted negotiations, the co-legislators agreed to ban some types of unjustified geo-blocking practices. However, the ban will not apply initially to content and services protected under copyright (for instance, e-books and downloads of music and audiovisual content). At the request of the Parliament, a review clause has been introduced which requires the Commission to re-examine the situation two years after the entry into force of the regulation.

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: Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) COM((2016) 289 of 25.5.2016

procedure ref.: 2016/0152(COD)

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

Rapporteur: Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein (EPP, Poland)
Shadow rapporteurs:







Virginie Rozière (S&D, France)

Anneleen Van Bossuyt (ECR, Belgium)

Dita Charanzová (ALDE, Czech Republic)

Dennis de Jong (GUE/NGL, the Netherlands)

Julia Reda (Greens/EFA, Germany)

Marco Zullo (EFDD, Italy)

Marcus Pretzell (ENF, Germany)

Next steps expected: First-reading vote in plenary

Stage: vote in plenary


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