Almost 90% of consumer respondents experienced geo-blocking or other geographically-based restrictions when shopping in another EU country. Up to 50% of respondents from the company perspective strongly agree that all mentioned forms of geo-blocking and other geographically-based restrictions represent significant obstacles to the Single Market.
A majority of respondents from both the consumer and company perspective agree that traders should inform customers about sales restrictions. Finally, the majority of respondents also agree that there are no objective reasons justifying website blocking, apart from compliance with explicit legal requirements.
Building on today's first results of the e-commerce sector inquiry and of the public consultation, the Commission will propose in May measures to address unjustified geo-blocking as part of a legislative package to boost e-commerce. This package, presented in the framework of the Digital Single Market strategy, will also include initiatives to improve the transparency of cross-border parcel markets and to enforce EU consumer rules across borders better. After having adopted proposals related to digital contracts and copyright in December (press release), the Commission will continue its work to break down regulatory barriers in the EU in 2016. It will notably reduce administrative burden businesses face from different VAT regimes and further facilitate cross-border access to content protected by copyright (press release).
Synopsis report available in all 23 EU languages of the public consultation: