The EU has agreed to abolish geoblocking in online retail trade. After the new regulation come into force, customers from the whole bloc will be able to purchase goods and services on any website in the EU, without being redirected to local sites with differing prices. “Removing unjustified blocking on a geographic basis is a huge step forward for consumers and for building a true Digital Single Market for everyone. After abolishing the roaming charges and portability of content, now EU citizens will be able to buy their new furniture online, to book a hotel or use their credit card across borders as if they were at home,” said Digital Gabriel EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and the Digital Society, Maria Gabriel.
The new regulations will not cover audiovisual content such as streaming video, video games, music, and ebooks. It also doesn’t cover physical delivery, which means that in some cases, the customer would have to organize it himself.
The regulation also does not impose an obligation to sell and does not harmonize prices. The new rules will come directly into force after nine months from the publication in the EU Official Journal, to allow in particular small traders to adapt.