Online shopping revolution as EU bans 'geoblocking'

Online shopping revolution as EU bans 'geoblocking'

Published at: 2018-02-07 10:31 | Author: CIJ Journal
Czechs can travel to Germany to buy clothes, food or electronics anytime they want without fear of being told to go home to do their shopping. But that's essentially what happens, in many cases, when they try to shop online. Geoblocking is a method retailers use to identify where the consumer is ordering the goods from and redirect their Internet browser to a local outlet, where the price may be higher, or the specific product may not be available. The European Union has now essentially banned the practice, making it possible for its citizens to order anything from anywhere within the EU. A European Parliamentary committee study found that 63 percent of websites it analyzed refused entry of shoppers from other EU. The tendency was greatest for electrical household appliances (86 percent), while just 40 percent of leisure products, including tickets for cultural or sporting events, put up such barriers. The new rules will not apply to copyrighted, digital goods, which in practice means Czechs won't be able to sign up for German Netflix accounts.

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