18 Dec 2015

DIGITALEUROPE’s comments on the consultation on geoblocking and other geographical restrictions when shopping and accessing information across the European Union – Annex document

DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the ambition to establish a true Digital Single Market, which is key to the creation of job and economic growth in Europe. We support the objective of the Digital Single Market Strategy to unlock the potential of eCommerce as well as to ensure a better online access to goods and services across Europe. Consumer and businesses’ willingness and confidence to engage in crossborder activitiesistherefore a critical element of the success of the Strategy. It isthus essential to ensure that rules inspire confidence to European citizens as well as provide legal certainty to businesses.

General remarks:

The European Commission announced its intention to put an end to “unjustified” geoblocking in the Digital Single Market Strategy Communication. DIGITALEUROPE welcomesthe opportunity to contribute to the public consultation on geoblocking and other geographical restrictions when shopping and accessing information across the European Union, as we understand that such an exercise aims at getting a better understanding of current practices and determining to which extent they could constitute obstacles in the Single Market.

We however regret that the distinction between “justified” and “unjustified” geoblocking, as well as the specific problem that the European Commission would like to address remain unclear.

We also regret the phrasing of many questions of the consultation and the listing of assumed practices of businesses out of context and in isolation from each other, for which we see a degree of bias that could result in misleading answers from the respondents.

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