Online shopping in Europe without unjustified geo-blocking

EU consumers show growing demand for cross-border online shopping. Since in the last ten years the share of Europeans buying online has almost doubled, the European Union took steps to make easier access to the online market to the EU consumers. On the basis of the new legislation applicable from 3 December 2018 that makes consumers able to shop online without unjustified geo-blocking, the European consumers have wider cross-border access to products, hotel bookings, car rentals, music festivals or leisure park tickets. This is another step towards the Digital Single Market within the EU. The new legislation ensures that the seller cannot deny access to the sale of goods and provision of some services, which means that the European seller cannot deny the delivery of the products on the basis the nationality, place of residence or location of the European consumer.

The background of the geo-blocking problem is the fact that the 63% of websites did not let the shoppers buy from another EU country. In practice, with regard to the tangible goods, geo-blocking was highest in the field of electrical household appliances (86%), while in respect of services in online reservations it was only 40%.

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