Geo-blocking between competition law and regulation
Title: Geo-blocking between competition law and regulation
Citation: Competition policy international antitrust chronicle, 2017, (January), pp. 1-6
External link: https://www.competitionpolicyinternational.com/geo-blocking-between-competition-law-and-regulation/
The Digital Agenda is one of the key pillars of the EU’s industrial policy. One of its aims is to strengthen the creation of a single market and one of the issues that the Commission proposes to tackle is geo-blocking. This refers to practices by sellers which make it costly or impossible for consumers with residence in one Member State to obtain goods and services from other Member States as well as the rerouting of customers away from websites hosted in other Member States to a website hosted in the Member State from where they are based (e.g. customers in Italy rerouted from a “.pt” version of an online store to its “.it” version) without their consent. Based on the welfare enhancing effects of a single market, the Commission is keen to deepen this integration as consumers move to using the internet to secure services and make purchases using this channel. In this paper we outline the Commission’s regulatory efforts to enhance cross-border trade through the use of competition law and a rich package of proposals for secondary legislation. We argue that the regulatory framework looks like an important first step, but that it does not go far enough to address this issue and that there must be enforcement capacity to yield meaningful results. By rushing the geo-blocking agenda without adequately addressing these pitfalls, the EU risks undermining another of its flagship projects, adding to the increasing concerns about the end of roaming charges by June 2017 introduced by Regulation 2015/2120.
Published online by CPI on January 17, 2017
Type of Access: openAccess