Geo-blocking is a biased practice that prevents online clients from retrieving and purchasing goods or services from a site in another member state. In order to eradicate this barrier, the EU is putting in place a geo-blocking regulation.
In February 2018, the Council implemented the regulation to ban baseless geo-blocking in the internal market. “The conclusion of geo-blocking means broader choice, better deals for clients and more prospects for businesses,” uttered Lilyana Pavlova, the Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
In some ways, the regulation is an anti-discrimination measure designed to safeguard the EU’s ‘internal market freedoms. It tries to realize the full potential of the internal market with particular emphasis on the free movement of goods and services. It then begs the question, how can you get Sweden IP? Only using VPN.
This will give an appropriate boost to e-commerce within the EU and, simultaneously, foster growth and increase shopper choice throughout the internal market. Increased e-commerce should also create “broader choice and ideal conditions” for EU consumers.
You can use a VPN to navigate E-commerce websites in the EU and get good deals that were otherwise only available to residents of the country the E-commerce firm is located in. This review will look at the forms of geo-blocking in today’s world, why geo-blocking should be regulated, and plenty more besides.
Forms of Geo-blocking Today
Here, a client is rerouted from the desired website to a local website, often with different content, offering, and amounts. In short, geoblocking includes commercial practices whereby a client is being treated differently based on ‘geo-factors,’ that is, race, place of residence, or temporary location.
Geo-blocking refers to various practices whereby businesses discriminate against online customers based on their location.
For instance, an e-trader operating in one of the EU member states may block or limit admission to their website for clients from other member states wishing to engage in cross-border businesses.
Geo-blocking also happens when traders apply diverse general conditions of access to their goods/services to clients from other participant states, both offline and online. Geo-filtering is also another form of geo-blocking.
Geo-blocking regularly occurs following an independent decision by a seller, but sometimes it is the result of a mutual arrangement. This might happen in the setting of distribution and licensing pacts. For instance, there may be a section in such an agreement that limits the cross-border distribution of goods or services.
Besides possibly infringing the regulation, such a section may be affected by EU competition law, in particular, Article 101(1)(b) of the Accord on the Functioning of the European Union, which denotes to markets being limited by requirements in an agreement.
Geo-blocking is realized through technologies that determine the physical location of a client. This may be discovered either through the tracking of that location by means of an IP address or coordinates gotten through a global navigation satellite system.
How is Geo-Blocking Being Regulated?
Equal Access to Goods & Services
Under the new rules, sellers will not be able to categorize customers with regard to the general terms and conditions, including prices in three cases:
- For productsthat are either carried in a member state to which the trader delivers or are collected at a site agreed with the customer.
- For electronically rendered services such as cloud, website hosting, and data warehousing.
- For amenities such as hotel accommodation and car rental which are received by the client in the state where the seller operates.
E-Commerce Website Access
Traders will not be permitted to block or limit clients’ access to their website for reasons of race or place of residence. A clear description will have to be provided if a seller blocks or limits admission or redirects clients to a different version of the online interface.
As a general rule, the new directive will prevail in cases of struggle with competition law. However, the right of dealers to impose active sales limitations will not be affected.
EU competition decree differentiates between passive sales (when sales are made in response to unsought orders) and active sales (when vendors are actively targeting clients). Passive sales limitations usually are considered as a breach of competition law, while active sales limitations are a common practice that comes from commercial freedom.
To sum it all up, geo-blocking is a grave issue that is affecting the EU and should be regulated, as we have seen above. This is because it prevents buyers from getting what they want and sellers from selling from who they want.