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Single market gaps exposed by geo-blocking plan

Posted by Nick Prag at 26 May 2016, 23:30 CET |
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Geo-blocking, refusing to sell to people living in other EU countries, is to be outlawed under plans to boost e-commerce in Europe. But what this proposal does is to expose the many remaining gaps in the Single Market.

The European Commission is right to address the hurdles consumers face when they try to take advantage of better offers and deals available from retailers based in other countries.

It is also welcome that the Commission is targeting only unjustified practices when a company actively seeks to service a market, rather than forcing a company to sell its goods or services to a consumer based in another country if it is for instance not familiar with the relevant national laws.

As Eurochambres points out, however, the very need for a geo-blocking proposal is a strong sign of a Single Market which remains incomplete.

Action is still needed to tackle the fundamental reasons why suppliers choose not to service certain EU markets or offer different conditions - such as differing VAT and national consumer protection regimes, or licencing requirements.


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Nick Prag

Nick Prag

Nick Prag is founder and managing editor of Prior to EUbusiness, he was senior editor at Europe Online SA in Luxembourg, where he played a major part in the launch of Europe Online International.