Title Original Language:
European Commission proposal for measures against geo-blocking
Abstract Original Language:
The European Commission published a package aimed at strengthening e-commerce on 25 May 2016. This constitutes the second major package in the framework of the digital single market. The European Commission’s so-called e-commerce package includes a proposal for a regulation which would dismantle territorial restrictions in the Internet (geo-blocking). The purpose of the proposal presented is to proscribe discrimination linked to the customer’s nationality, place of residence or place of establishment within the EU single market. In this regard, the customer can also be a company as end user. Access to the online interfaces of the service provider must be ensured. An automatic re-routing to another website, for instance one which uses the customer’s national language, may only occur with the express consent of the user. Furthermore, a ban on discrimination with respect to the payment instrument is foreseen in the proposal. If a trader accepts a particular mode of payment (e.g. credit card), payment should be possible using this method regardless of the EU Member State where the card was issued. In addition, since May 2015 the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition has been conducting a sectoral e-commerce survey with a view to identifying possible barriers to competition in the area of electronic trade. By way of example, this is looking at whether and to what extent companies erect barriers to cross-border online commerce vis-à-vis their traders, e.g. through online platform bans or contractual restrictions which prevent individual dealers from selling goods or services online to customers in another EU country.