With a view to help implement the Digital Single Market, regulation no. 2018/302 was published in the Official Journal on 2 March 2018. This Regulation, also termed "Geo-blocking Regulation", aims to address unjustified geographical blocking.
As a reminder, this Regulation follows on from an initiative of the European Commission, which had observed during its investigations into e-commerce that the level of cross-border transactions was relatively low within the EU in comparison with other economic areas, such as the United States.
The purpose of this Regulation is to limit, as far as possible, the artificial partitioning of the internal market based on national borders, and thus offer customers the possibility of enjoying a wider range of products in the best conditions of sale, all the while preventing discrimination based on nationality, place of residence, or any other information indicating the physical location of customers such as IP address, delivery address, language or Member State in which the payment instrument was issued.
The practice of geo-blocking, or geographical blocking, refers to economic operators using online websites (or applications) to:
- block or limit access to their online interface by customers from other Member States of the European Economic Area who wish to make a purchase on such interface;
- offer different general conditions of access to customers from other Member States of the EEA, without objective justification.
Please click on the PDF below to read the full Client Alert.