Today the EU Commission released a paper outlining the Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe. One of the points addressed is the “preventing of unjustified geo-blocking”.
With other words. The EU commission is planning to ban online territory restriction inside the EU. Many of us have been victim of IP based racism in the past. Like not being able to purchase a game at a lower price in an other country online store, or even prevented from buying a game at all because it’s not available in your location.
- 74% of the complaints received by the European Consumer Centers Network regarding price differences or other geographical discrimination faced by consumers relate to online cross-border purchases.
These restriction don’t exist in EU when buying goods physically or in person, only in the online world. The EU commission it working to ban these hostile customer practices by releasing a first bill draft early 2016.
This would allow UK gamers legally to purchase a game in an other EU country online store if it’s not available in theirs, for example because of region blocking and lack of distribution rights.
A French gamer could opt to buy a game in the Polish EA online store, if it’s sold there cheaper than in his home country online store. Other example include Video on Demand services like Netflix. That is available in some EU countries but not all of them, and then often with different content.
Other points discussed in the paper are too strict copyright laws and ensuring affordable, high-quality cross-border delivery services to promote cross-border online sales.
- For companies that currently do not sell online but are trying to do so, 62% say the fact that delivery costs are too high is a problem.
- Listed tariffs for cross-border parcel delivery charged by national postal operators are estimated to be two to five times higher than domestic prices.
You can read full paper here,
COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN
PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL
COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe