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Online shopping made easier in the EU


The European Parliament has on 6 February 2018 adopted a regulation to end geo-blocking in online shopping in the EU. Geo-blocking refers to any restrictions imposed on customers by online stores based on nationality, residence or place of connection. In practice, geo-blocking may, for example, prevent customers from placing orders from online stores that are located in other member states, and it may also lead to a website not accepting a means of payment from another member state. The new regulation obliges retailers to give customers access to goods and services on the same terms all over the EU, regardless of where they are shopping from.

The objective of the regulation is to end discrimination based on place of connection in online trading, and to advance the digital single market. The new ban on geo-blocking does not apply, e.g., to copyrighted materials or audio-visual services such as Spotify or Netflix, but in the future the European Commission intends to evaluate the need to extend the regulation to these areas as well. The geo-blocking regulation will enter into force by the end of 2018.

For further information, please contact:
Anna Liinamaa

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