The EU’s internal market and geo-blocking “cannot coexist”, said Andrus Ansip, the commissioner for digital single market. Such a practice runs counter to the bloc’s objective of creating a modern single digital market without any borders to be felt by citizens.
Geo-blocking is a method of preventing users from accessing certain websites, videos, music and other content based on their location and has been used widely among others by movie and TV businesses to restrict viewing to specific regions.
“There are two logics. The logic of geo-blocking and the logic of internal market. We have to make our choice. Those two, they cannot coexist”, said Ansip, but he admitted the practice is acceptable “in some cases. When for example in one country online gambling is prohibited, then geoblocking is absolutely acceptable.”
Ansip admitted that it would be an uphill battle to implement relevant legislation in view of strong industry lobbying, speaking of a mammoth project and a tough fight ahead.
Now that the commission has identified the main problems, it will spend the next six weeks determining how it wants to solve them, and deciding what legislative measures it wants to propose. Brussels is set to present concrete proposals as to how it wants to shape the bloc’s digital market of the future on May 6