European Commission releases results of public consultation

2/3/2016

The European Commission has recently released initial results on their recent public consultations on geo-blocking and the role of online platforms.

The aim of the first consultation was to gather evidence and views on the restrictions faced by users, consumers and businesses when they access or provide information, shop or sell across borders in the EU. The objective of the second consultation was to gather evidence and views on the regulatory environment for platforms, liability of intermediaries, data and cloud and collaborative economy.

More than 90% of consumers and a majority of businesses agreed that unjustified geo-blocking poses a significant obstacle to the single market and constitutes an issue to be addressed by the European Union. The consultation also showed, however, that companies stressed the need for sensible legislation respecting the right to contractual freedom of businesses. Many online merchants do not want to see an obligation for traders to sell and deliver goods outside of the areas where they would normally sell.

What happens now?

The full report of the outcome of the public consultation on geo-blocking is expected in due course, with the results of the study feeding into the Commission’s legislative proposal to end unjustified geo-blocking expected for mid-2016. The full report on online platforms is expected to be published in spring 2016.